It's soft data, but the numbers from the Conference Board are hard to ignore. November’s monster read was 129.5. This is the fifth consecutive increase in the report, but it is more robust and parabolic than any since early-year strength.
This is the highest level of confidence in 17 years, but still well below the all-time high reading of 144.7 back in June 2000. The great news is the Conference Board sees these trends continuing.
“Consumer confidence increased for a fifth consecutive month and remains at a 17-year high (Nov. 2000, 132.6),” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved moderately, while their expectations regarding the short-term outlook improved more so, driven primarily by optimism of further improvements in the labor market. Consumers are entering the holiday season in very high spirits and foresee the economy expanding at a healthy pace into the early months of 2018.”
The confirmation hearing for Jerome Powell is not the most riveting television watching. His words, however, had a positive impact on the market, especially financials, which welcome a modest pace to rate hikes next year.
|S&P 500 Index||+0.52%|
|Consumer Discretionary (XLY)||+0.53%|
|Consumer Staples (XLP)||+0.27%|
|Health Care (XLV)||+0.43%|
|Real Estate (XLRE)||-0.42%|