This household debt stress test may worry TSX investors. Plus, why Microsoft is the better stock pick than Apple


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BMO senior economist Sal Guatieri detailed a five-part check on Canadian household balance sheets and found reasons for concern that likely have implications for Canadian stockpickers. Mr. Guatieri began his report by noting that the two symptoms of financial stress – weak consumer spending and low confidence – are already apparent. A November Conference Board survey of consumer sentiment found the second lowest result in 20 years. Inflation-adjusted consumer spending has slowed to about half of its historical average. Income growth is the first part of the household finances check. The economist found that on the surface things look healthy...