Consumer Confidence Data Scares Investors

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

  • The market finally pulled in today after five sessions of gains on the back of much worse-than-expected consumer confidence data. Stocks dropped 101 points (or .97%) taking back the last 4 days of trading in one session.

  • Consumer confidence was reported at 46.0, a 10-point drop from last month's reading of 56.5 and far lower than expectations of 55.0. Attitudes about current conditions purportedly fell to their lowest level in 27 years. Maybe all that snow really got us down. Yet, these data points are always subject to revision and I would be surprised not to see this revised up significantly. I agree with Eddy over at Crossing Wall Street, this just seems like too much of an outlier to be accurate.

  • Guess what? Bonuses on Wall Street were up in 2009! Surprised, I know. Banks paid out an average bonus of $123,850 for an increase of 17% over 2008. A total of $20.3 billion was paid out just one year after panic gripped the country that our financial system might collapse. Now, that's a quick recovery...for the select Wall Streeters that is. This leads me to wonder just how much they'll make this coming year, now that Americans are seemingly too tired to be outraged with Wall Street anymore.
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