US consumer spending rose as expected in July, data showed on Friday, lifted by the government's "cash-for-clunkers" program that fueled demand for autos.
The Commerce Department said spending rose 0.2 percent after increasing by a revised 0.6 percent in June, previously reported as a 0.4 percent gain.
Personal incomes were unchanged last month, a weaker showing than the expected 0.2 percent gain.
Spending was boosted by the cash for clunkers program and so it's unclear just how sustained that is. Meanwhile, the personal income numbers are troubling. It hasn't soured the mood in the markets. The Dow has been up for the last seven days in a row and it's up slightly in the pre market. All the market indices are up but all less than half a percent.
At the same time, Treasury bonds have been giving back the last couple days. The rate on ten year Treasury bonds reached a low of 3.42% during trading on Wednesday and they've been giving back since then. It's currently trading at 3.51%. The yield spread between the two and ten year is now at 2.45%. Meanwhile, after dropping for several days in a row, oil looks like it will be up for the second day. It's currently trading at $72.95 a barrel. Oil reached below $71 a barrel on Wednesday and is now slowly sliding back up.
Markets in the Far East were mixed. The Hang Seng in China was down .71%, the NIKKEI in Japan was up .57%, and the Straits Time Index was up .02%. In Europe, markets were up across the board. The FTSE in London was up 1.32%, the DAX in Germany was up 1.62%, and the Spanish Index was up .84%.
Finally, currencies are fairly quiet and the Dollar is mixed. It's down by .12% against the Euro, down .45% against the British Pound, but up by .31% against the Japanese Yen.