U.S. consumer confidence improved more than expected in December, hitting a three-month high as job market pessimism eased and consumers' expectations reached a two-year high, according to a private report released on Tuesday.
The Conference Board, an industry group, said its index of consumer attitudes rose to 52.9 in December from a revised 50.6 in November.
The Dow et all are all up this morning but each .33% and less. We'll see how the markets will digest this news. All three are pushing twelve month highs. Oil is about even. It's trading at $78.63 a barrel, down slightly. Gold is also about even. It's trading at $1105 an ounce. That's down a couple bucks.
Bonds are also about even. The ten year is at 3.82%. That's better a couple basis points but still way worse over the last couple weeks. The big news was the move of the two year yesterday. That popped nearly ten basis points. The two year is now yielding 1.08%. That's significantly tightened the yield spread between the two and ten year bond to 2.74%. Bonds in London are much worse this morning while they're about even in Germany.
We have near across the board gains in both Europe and the Far East today. The Hang Seng in China was up .09%, the NIKKEI in Japan was up .04%, and the Straits Time Index in Singapore was up .49%. In Europe, the FTSE in London was up .74%, the DAX in Germany was up .36%, and the Spanish index was up .09%.
It's also a quiet day in currencies so far. The dollar is down .31% against the Euro, up .02% against the British Pound, and up .13% against the Japanese Yen.
Finally, here's some positive real estate news.
Home prices in 20 U.S. cities rose in October for a fifth consecutive month, putting the housing market and economy farther along the path to recovery.
The S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index increased 0.4 percent from the prior month on a seasonally adjusted basis, after a 0.2 percent rise in September, the group said today in New York. The gauge was down 7.3 percent from October 2008, the smallest year-over-year decline since October 2007. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News anticipated a 7.2 percent drop.
I'm going to have more to say about Fannie/Freddie in another post. It's impossible to say anything about any real estate number since there's been so much artificial stimulation.