President Donald Trump said Iran may have seized two tankers in the Strait of Hormuz Friday, after Iran's Revolutionary Guard says it seized one tanker and there were news...World Newsread more
Amazon hires Trump-allied lobbyist Jeff Miller as battle for Pentagon contract heats up.Politicsread more
In a series of tweets, the president addressed an unusual controversy stemming from a speech delivered Thursday by New York Fed President John Williams.Marketsread more
More than a quarter of the S&P 500 companies report earnings in the week ahead, and that could buffet the market as investors await the Fed's meeting at the end of the month.Market Insiderread more
Companies aren't waiting for the U.S.-China trade war to be resolved, says the head of the world's biggest money manager.Investingread more
Executives from United Airlines and American Airlines were "shocked" that state-owned airline Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker was also invited to the meeting, according to a...Airlinesread more
Earlier this week, a lawyer said Jeffrey Epstein, a former friend of Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, had "improper sexual contact" with at least one woman under the...Politicsread more
Walmart is making further organizational changes as it continues to integrate its store and digital operations and leadership, according to a memo obtained by CNBC that was...Retailread more
George Nader helped arrange a January 2017 meeting in the Seychelles between Erik Prince and the head of Russia's sovereign wealth fund, who reported directly to Vladimir...Politicsread more
These are the stocks posting the largest moves midday.Market Insiderread more
"I'm not hearing people blame the Fed as much as they're blaming tariffs," says CNBC's Jim Cramer.US Economyread more
Out of whack weather, gluttonous inventories and changing consumer spending patterns have shouldered much of the blame for sluggish retail sales. But often lost in the shuffle is the role of ballooning student loan debt, which exceeds $1.3 trillion and counting.
Student debt obligations are growing faster than the average salaries for recent graduates, and require an estimated $160 billion in annual payments, according to new analysis from Moody's. That's $40 billion greater than Amazon's annual revenue, and is larger than the combined yearly sales of Home Depot and Lowe's.
Aside from potential government intervention, the problem is only getting worse for retailers. The velocity of growth tied to student loan debt is "staggering," having more than doubled from $580 million in 2008, Moody's said. That comes as the average salary for recent graduates has edged only slightly higher.
Meanwhile, the largest holders of student loan debt are now Americans between ages 30 and 39, who have historically been the biggest spenders.
"Total retail sales including vehicles roughly exceeds $4 trillion in 2016," Moody's analyst Charlie O'Shea said. "The very high level of debt repayment is money that could be spent elsewhere in the economy."
While these debt payments will keep a lid on retail sales growth for the foreseeable future, there are a few companies that may benefit, Moody's said. Those include discounters such as Wal-Mart and Target, off-price players including TJX and Ross, and dollar stores.
"The only potential 'non-losers' may be the retailers that typically benefit from the 'trade-down' effect," O'Shea said.
Retail sales were up 2.8 percent through July, according to the Commerce Department.