Consumer borrowing surges in April, signaling confidence

Consumers revved up their borrowing in April, with growth in credit card debt accelerating at the fastest pace in more than a dozen years.

Overall credit expanded by $26.8 billion during the month, up from an increase of $19.5 billion in March, the Federal Reserve said Friday. The sizable climb is an encouraging sign for the economy, suggesting that consumers are confident enough to boost purchases by borrowing.

The result was fueled by autos and student loans, which rose by $18 billion, and credit card debt, which was up $8.8 billion. The upswing in credit card debt represented a 12.3 percent gain, the fastest pace since November 2001.

‘Dark pool’ broker to pay $2 million to settle charges

A brokerage firm that operates a so-called “dark pool” trading system has agreed to pay $2 million to settle federal civil charges of using customers’ confidential trading data to market its services.

The settlement between Liquidnet Inc. and the Securities and Exchange Commission was announced Friday, a day after SEC Chair Mary Jo White proposed new rules that could bring closer oversight of high-speed trading and dark trading pools, which account for as much as 35 percent of trades.

Unlike public stock exchanges, dark pools are private, off-market platforms that offer limited information about participants or operations.

Wal-Mart executive’s goal: Accelerate pace of change

Wal-Mart’s CEO Doug McMillon said the world’s largest retailer’s task is to more quickly bring e-commerce together with physical stores to better serve shoppers.

At Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s annual shareholders meeting Friday, McMillon talked about a service offered in the U.K., where customers can order groceries online and then pick them up from trucks at various locations. He also talked about incorporating 3-D printers in future retail applications.

– From news service reports