Stocks edged higher all session long as all the major indices closed higher. However, the story of the market is the return of the American consumer.
Late in the session on Thursday, the Federal Reserve released data on the U.S. Consumer Credit for October. The narrative is soft data of a positive sentiment morphing into real life-action.
Overall, consumer credit increased by $20.5 billion (well ahead) of Wall Street consensus.
Some might see these numbers as worrisome, considering the number of outstanding consumer debt in the midst of the Great Recession. While we are approaching those record levels for revolving credit (significantly higher on non-revolving credit), the levels carry a lesser risk a decade later.
I think they are exactly the kind of momentum retailers want to see coming into the holidays. It’s underscored with the remarkable rally in brick-and-mortar retailers, which has gone beyond the notion of bottom-fishing. In fact; in the blink of an eye, many retail names are at 52-week high points:
With respect to Conn’s, the earnings for the most recent quarter were impressive:
Conn’s opened its doors 125 years ago as a plumbing and heating company in Beaumont, Texas, and then switched to consumer electronics. More recently, the company has seen success in furniture and appliances.
The stock was written off, and the stock was in a death spiral until this year. Things began to turn for its 116 stores located throughout the south and western states. These are the states that voted for change and an economic lifeline.
The stock reflects how businesses adapt; coupled with the surge in consumer, it reflects how people react to increased confidence in their own economic economy. #Winning
The employment report came in above consensus at 228,000 powered by continued strength on goods-producing jobs:
We will have more details in the afternoon note.
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