Consumers Upbeat (ETFs) Amid Mixed Economic News

By (Tom Lydon),

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ETFs are somewhat restrained Thursday after a batch of mixed economic reports led to a flat opening for Wall Street Thursday.

  • Confidence among consumers rose in December to its highest level since June, on improved job prospects and larger discounts from retailers, a survey released on Thursday showed. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment came in at 74.5, up from 71.6 in November. It was slightly below the median forecast of 74.7 among economists polled by Reuters. "The overall tenor of news about recent economic developments was on balance more favorable than at any time during the past six years," UWC) is up almost 2% on the upbeat consumer sentiment news.
  • The PMR) is a good play on increased consumer spending.
  • Orders for U.S.-made durable goods declined 1.3% in November, led down by transportation-equipment orders,XLI)
  • The number of U.S. workers filing new applications for jobless benefits fell slightly last week to 420,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The prior week's number was revised up by 2,000 to 423,000. The four-week average of new claims rose 2,500 to 426,000. The moving average is considered a more accurate barometer of employment trends because it smooths out quirks in the weekly data. In the week of Dec. 11, meanwhile, the number of people who continued to receive benefits under state unemployment programs dropped 103,000 to a seasonally adjusted 4.06 million.
  • European stock markets fell amid thin volumes Thursday, the last full trading session before the Christmas holiday, while shares of Allied Irish Banks PLC plunged as the government effectively took control of the ailing financial group. Shares of AIB ( AIB ) are down 20% after the government won a EUO).

Gregory A. Clay contributed to this article.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing ETFs
Referenced Stocks: AIB

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