The New York Stock Exchange is showing something that we would be more concerned about than optimistic. Margin debt at the NYSE grew for the ninth consecutive month and hit another record high in April, as investors have now borrowed on margin some $384.37 billion. This is only about 1.3% higher than the $379.52 billion in March, but it is almost 29% higher on a year-over-year basis, versus the $298.50 billion from April 2012.

The prior margin borrowing high was $381.37 billion, back in July 2007. This is an important reflection because that is months before the recession started and when certain aspects of the economy began giving warnings signs of worse things to come.

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