Business News

NWQWM Financial Report

U.S. retail sales increased more than expected in October, boosted by purchases of motor vehicles and a range of other goods, suggesting that consumer spending could help to underpin the economy in the fourth quarter.  The Commerce Department said that retail sales rose 1.3% last month. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast sales to rise 1.0%, with estimates ranging from as low as a 0.1% drop to as high as a 2.0% jump. Retail sales are mostly goods and are not adjusted for inflation.

Households increased debt during the third quarter at the fastest pace in 15 years due to hefty increases in credit card usage and mortgage balances, according to the Federal Reserve.  Total debt jumped by $351 billion for the July-to-September period, the largest nominal quarterly increase since 2007, bringing the collective household IOU in the U.S. to a fresh record $16.5 trillion, up 2.2% from the previous quarter and 8.3% from a year ago.

Shares of Walmart are higher after the company beat Wall Street earnings and revenue estimates and boosted full-year guidance. Home Depot reported strong results too but kept guidance in place for the full-year. Its shares rose slightly.

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