ETFs are somewhat restrained Thursday after a batch of mixed
economic reports led to a flat opening for Wall Street
- 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
- 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
) are down 20% after the government won a EUO).
Gregory A. Clay contributed to this article.