Markets

Stocks Sitting Lower at Session's Half; US Data Mixed as Investors Fret Over Europe

Stocks are down in mid-day trading as Europe's debt crisis retakes center stage amid concern over the cost to insure European government debt as it jumped to a record high, according to reports.

A 6 billion euro German bond auction attracted only 3.889 billion euros, MarketWatch noted, leaving the central bank to buy the remaining unsold bonds. The results of the sale - coupled with mounting fears that the debt contagion that started with Greece - shook investor confidence and sparked a sell-off across the globe.

Stateside, U.S. consumers have a more positive outlook, with the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment rising to 64.1 this month from 60.9 in October. Still, that was less than the rise to 64.5 predicted by economists polled in a Bloomberg survey.

In U.S. economic data, new applications for unemployment benefits rose 2,000 to 393,000, according the U.S. Labor Department. Economists had expected claims to come in at 390,000 for the week, according to a MarketWatch poll. However, the four-week moving average, which smooths out some of the volatility, fell 3,259 to 394,250.

Also, the Commerce Department said demand for durable good declined 0.7% last month due to declining demand for commercial aircraft, according to media reports. That is better than the 1.5% drop economists had expected to see, according to MarketWatch data.

Meanwhile, consumers spent more last month, with personal spending rising 0.1% while personal incomes rose 0.4%. according to other Commerce Department figures.

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

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

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