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Registered Investment Adviser Caleb Lawrence

The major averages enter the final hour with small gains on generally positive data. Recent Congressional testimony provided more fuel to the fire growing around Trump but so far, no smoking gun.

The first quarter Flow of Funds Report shows that household net worth rose 2.4 trillion to a new record high of 98.8 trillion in the first quarter. Gains were seen in financial instruments like stocks and bonds, and to a lesser extent real estate. On the liability side, household borrowing increased $36 billion to $15.2 trillion, mostly on higher mortgage lending. As has been the trend for quite some time now most of the gains accrued to the top 10%.

Despite the continued and impressive price gains seen with real estate in the post bust period since 2009. CoreLogic reports that 3.1 million homes still hold negative equity at the end of the first quarter. At the state level, Nevada leads with 12.4%, followed by Florida 11.1% and, Illinois 10.5% to round out the top 3.

The recent jump in crude oil, gasoline and other distillate stockpiles put downward pressure on prices of late, as per the Energy Information Administration. They went on to note persistently weak demand for gasoline that struggles to this day to recover its pre-bust peak.


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