A flurry of reports Thursday showed that U.S. consumers are growing more confident and spending more, boosting a still-weak economy just five days before the presidential election.
At first glance, it looked as if the elections might be a slam-dunk for Republicans this year, given the way presidents in recent history have fared in the face of poorly performing economies. But as the GOP is finding out, today's economy is a double-edged sword that is cutting both for and against President Obama.
Early this week, investors saw a modest jump in consumer confidence in September, according to the index compiled by the Conference Board. That brought good news, so-so news and even some bad news.
Four major business groups see gloomy times ahead for the job market and the economy, according to a string of separate surveys and polls released this week that cast fresh doubt on hopes that the economic recovery may have turned the corner.
Consumer confidence perked up this month while home prices posted their third straight month of gains in the latest signs that the economy continues to slowly but steadily improve.
U.S. consumer confidence jumped this month to the highest level since February, bolstered by a brighter hiring outlook.
While same-store August sales figures shared by a number of retailers such as the Gap, Nordstrom Inc., the Limited (which owns Victoria's Secret and Bed, Bath & Beyond) and others were better than expected and the housing market appears to be healing, the overall stock market continues to sit on pins and needles.
Americans are feeling worse about the economy than they have in a long time — a fact that could have wide-reaching implications everywhere from Wal-Mart to the White House.
A mixed pair of economic reports kept the stock market hovering near the break-even mark Tuesday. One report on home prices looked encouraging, and another on consumer confidence was worrisome.