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American household net worth takes a hit

The net worth of American households fell slightly to $58.5 trillion in the second quarter of this year, the Federal Reserve reported Friday.

The net worth of households — the value of assets such as homes minus liabilities such as debt — was about $150 billion lower than in the first quarter, the report said.

Blame the stock market and the housing market. The total value of both holdings fell slightly over the course of the three months, according to the report.

The stock market had been gaining ground at a reasonably steady clip since the recession officially ended in June of 2009, but the turmoil of this summer sent the markets into a frenzy of wild market swings.

With the economic conditions in the United States and Europe still uncertain, many expect the markets to continue to be unpredictable.

Meanwhile, the real estate market is still reeling from the effects of the housing bust and weak economy.

Not everyone is feeling the economic pain as sharply, though. The Wall Street Journal notes the same report also showed that corporations continued to hoard more cash in the second quarter, which ran April through June.