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Household debt up 0.9% in 1st quarter

Americans continued to take on debt in the first quarter, though new mortgage borrowing slowed to the weakest level since late 2014, according to a Federal Reserve Bank of New York report.

Total U.S. household debt rose 0.9% from the previous quarter to $13.67 trillion in the first three months of 2019, about in line with the pace in recent years, New York Fed data showed Tuesday.

New mortgage borrowing fell to $344 billion, the least since the third quarter of 2014, even as borrowing costs dropped. Total home loan balances, which make up the largest portion of U.S. consumer debt, rose 1.3% from the previous quarter to $9.2 trillion, the highest since 2008. Student debt rose to $1.49 trillion while auto loans increased to $1.28 trillion, the highest in data since 2003.

The New York Fed report showed about 2.4% of balances fell into serious delinquency, or more than 90 days late. While that reading was little changed from the fourth quarter, the flow of mortgage balances into delinquency fell to 1.1% from 1.2% as the figure for student loans increased to 9.5% from 9.1%. The rate for credit cards was little changed at 5%, though that was still the highest since 2012.

-- Bloomberg News

Windstream releases quarter results today

Little Rock-based rural telecommunications company Windstream Holdings Inc. is scheduled to release its first-quarter financial results today at 7:30 a.m.

Recorded remarks from company management about the quarterly report will also be available at 7:30 a.m. on the company's investor relations website: Financial information related to the remarks will also will be posted on the site.

Windstream Holdings Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in late February after a Feb. 15 ruling by U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman, who said Windstream defaulted on some of its bonds in 2015 when it spun off real estate investment trust Uniti Group Inc.

Windstream shares fell 2.3% Tuesday to close at 29 cents.

-- Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

State index rises 5.46 after 13 stocks gain

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, rose 5.46 Tuesday to 421.08.

Thirteen of the 14 stocks rose, led by ArcBest Corp.'s 3.95% increase. Tyson Foods shares rose 2.51%.

"U.S. stocks reclaimed some of the lost ground from Monday's steep sell-off, with technology stocks leading the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq higher," said Chris Harkins, managing director at Raymond James & Associates in Little Rock.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

Business on 05/15/2019

Print Headline: News in brief

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