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  1. The Double Dip Risk

    The household balance sheet remains the primary concern with regards to the economic recovery.  The latest data from the Federal Reserve on consumer credit showed the first expansion in credit in 12 months.  While many view this as a positive I remain skeptical of the sustainability of the recovery.  Total consumer credit expanded to $2.46T in January.  Unfortunately, this is exactly what the consumer shouldn’t be doing right now and substantially increases the risk of a stimulus withdrawal resulting in a double dip in 2011 or 2012.  At the same time we are beginning to see signs of life in consumer sales – another potentially negative omen for the wobbly recovery.  While all of this might appear to be a positive at first glance it substantially increases the risk of a double dip .  Allow me to elaborate. Fitch recently reported that the charge-off rate for prime credit cards remains at its highs: Fitch Ratings-New York-03 March 2010: U.S. credit card charge-offs surged to near record levels set last fall, according to the latest Credit Card Index results from Fitch Ratings.

  2. File-and-suspend strategy prompts more questions

    Married couples can't double - dip and claim spousal benefits, too.

  3. Arnott: Double -Dip Odds 50% Plus, Beware Reflation

    Despite a series of economic reports pointing to a continuing anemic recovery, Research Affiliates founder Rob Arnott believes the odds of a double - dip recession remain above 50%.

  4. Politics Secondary to US Equity Fundamentals

    All investments involve risk, including possible loss of principal. The value of investments can go down as well as up, and investors may not get back the full amount invested. The information provided in this posting is not a complete analysis of every material fact regarding any country, region, ...

  5. Friday Five: The 200th Episode

    Morningstar markets editor Jeremy Glaser's five biggest takeaways since The Friday Five's first episode almost four years ago.

  6. U.S. Will Need to Lead the World Out of Soft Patch

    The sheer size and consumer orientation of the U.S. economy will be a big swing factor in the export and growth trajectories of other countries, says Morningstar's Bob Johnson.

  7. The Friday Five

    Five stats from the market and the stories behind them. This week: Europe perks up, perspective on J.P. Morgan's latest headache, Home Depot builds momentum, and more.

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