The National Debt is currently: $17,635,473,436,587.00 is Higher by another 28 BILLION. The interest pay-out alone on the debt is 225 Billion per year! I post this so we will be aware of what we are leaving to our children.
The Dow last traded at 16,440 about 20 pts lower than where it was a week ago. The S&P 500 is trading at 1,917. Gold is trading at $1,312 an ounce, while oil futures at $97.39 a barrel. Gas prices, (Regular in El Dorado Hills, Costco, AM/PM), are at $3.63/Gal.
In economic news this week; The reader’s digest version is the economy seems to be picking up a little steam with increases in productivity, factory orders, consumer credit, and manufacturing.
Banks are seeing broad-based demand for loans but are not altering their standards in a major way, a Federal Reserve survey released Monday showed. The survey of 75 domestic and 23 foreign banks operating in the U.S. shows that banks are responding by continuing to slowly ease standards for various commercial and industrial loans. Banks reported stronger demand for prime residential mortgages for the first time since last summer and for home equity lines for the first time since October 2013. The July survey also shows that new qualified mortgage rules has reduced approval rates on applications for prime jumbo home-purchase loans and nontraditional mortgages but have not impacted prime mortgages.
Factory orders in June rose 1.1%, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That’s the fourth gain in five months and the level of $503.2 billion is the highest on record. Durable-goods orders rose 1.7%, higher than the initially estimated 0.7% gain.
U.S. service-sector companies grew in July at the fastest pace in nine years, according to a survey of senior executives. The Institute for Supply Management said its nonmanufacturing index rose to 58.7% last month from 56.0% in June. That’s the highest rate since December 2005. Reading over 50% indicate more companies are expanding instead of shrinking. Sixteen of the 18 industries tracked by Tempe, Ariz.-based ISM reported growth last month. The ISM’s new-orders index climbed 3.7 points to 64.9% – also the highest in nine years – while the employment gauge advanced 1.6 points to 56.0%. The employment index is the highest since January.
U.S. consumer credit growth increased sharply in June, a possible sign spending could ramp up in coming months. Consumers increased their debt in June by $17.3 billion, down only slightly from a $19.6 billion gain in the prior month, the Federal reported. Non-revolving category of debt, especially federal student loans, led the monthly increase, rising $16.3 billion or 8.4% in June. Once again, credit-card debt rose only slightly, rising a slim $941 million or 1.3% after a gain of 2.4% in the prior month.
U.S. productivity rebounded modestly in the second quarter after it fell sharply in the prior three months. Productivity in the April-June quarter increased 2.5%, compared with a revised 4.5% drop in the prior quarter, according to a preliminary reading by the Labor Department. The first-quarter reading was the lowest since the fourth quarter of 1981. Higher productivity is regarded as the key to a rising standard of living over time because it tends to lead to higher pay for workers and larger profits for companies. In the short run, though, many factors can affect productivity. One of the reasons productivity has been subdued in recent quarters is because hiring in the U.S. has been strong.
On the Real Estate front: Nothing to report this week.
On the Employment front: The number of people who applied for unemployment benefits fell below 300,000 for the second time in three weeks, solidifying a picture of an improving U.S. labor market in which layoffs remain low and companies are hiring at the fastest pace in years. Initial jobless claims fell by 14,000 to 289,000 in the week of July 27 to Aug. 2. Continuing claims decreased by 24,000 to 2.52 million in the week ended July 26. Continuing claims reflect the number of people already receiving benefits.
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