NEW YORK (Reuters) - Consumer sentiment rose to its highest level in more than five years in November as consumers felt more optimistic about employment prospects and the outlook for the overall economy, a survey released on Friday showed.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment came in at 84.9, up from 82.6 the month before.
It was above the median forecast of 83 among economists polled by Reuters.
STEVE SOSNICK, EQUITY-RISK MANAGER AT TIMBER HILL/INTERACTIVE BROKERS GROUP IN GREENWICH, CONNECTICUT
"It was better than expected and the market seems to like it. It is a positive note, but the backdrop remains negative with a lot of negative sentiment. Still we could be oversold enough that this could launch a rally.
IAN LYNGEN, SENIOR GOVERNMENT BOND STRATEGIST, CRT CAPITAL GROUP, STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT:
"The data is somewhat questionable given that while it is November data, the survey likely does not include the full extent of the recent downtrade in equities.
TOM PORCELLI, CHIEF U.S. ECONOMIST, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS, NEW YORK:
"There were certainly cross currents in this report as it not only captured Sandy but it also captured the day of the election. Given the cross currents it is a little hard to read, but nevertheless the bottom line is that it was an improvement and a move in the right direction. As we move forward it will be interesting to see the response to the fiscal cliff. There will be uncertainty before clarity on the fiscal cliff and that should put confidence under pressure going forward.
JOE MANIMBO, MARKET ANALYST, WESTERN UNION BUSINESS SOLUTIONS, WASHINGTON
"It shows that the U.S. economy is on a decent footing heading into the so-called fiscal cliff. So that should highlight that the economy could be subject to a u-turn if we go over. There's a lot at stake, and there's a lot momentum that could be lost if lawmakers don't get their act together.
MARKET REACTION: STOCKS: U.S. stocks briefly turned positive after data BONDS: U.S. bond prices slipped after data DOLLAR: The U.S. dollar showed little reaction, but still trading higher
(Americas Economics and Markets Desk; +1-646 223-6300)