September 28th, 2010
05:07 PM ET

Consumer confidence drops, but stocks rise

A look at highlights from the day's business news:

Stocks claw out gains

U.S. stocks finished higher Tuesday as a drop in consumer confidence and a mixed reading on home prices failed to sink recovery hopes.

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 46 points, or 0.4 percent, the S&P 500 added 5.5 points, or 0.5 percent, and the Nasdaq gained 10 points, or 0.4 percent.

After rallying for a fourth straight week last week, stocks slipped from four-month highs and ended the day lower Monday amid a flurry of deal-making activity and ongoing economic jitters.

Despite a disappointing report on consumer morale early Tuesday that initially sent stocks tumbling, investors haven't given up hope that a recovery is gradually gaining pace, said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott.

The Consumer Confidence Index dropped to 48.5 in September from a downwardly revised 53.2 in August, the Conference Board reported. Economists had been expecting the number to edge to 53. The index is a far cry from 90 - a level that typically indicates a stable economy.

Treasury yields sink along with sentiment

Treasury yields sank Tuesday as investors responded to a disappointing report on consumer confidence and the U.S. auctioned $35 billion in five-year notes.

Investors flocked to the safe haven investments following a report that consumer confidence slumped to its lowest level in seven months in September. Yields remained under pressure amid a weekly offering of $100 billion in U.S. debt.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year note fell to 2.46 percent from 2.53 percent late Monday. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.

The yield on the 30-year bond ticked down to 3.67 percent from 3.72 percent. The five-year note dropped as low as 1.24 percent, the lowest since December 2008. That compares with 1.29 percent late Monday.

The two-year note's yield was unchanged at 0.43 percent from 0.44 percent. It continues to hover near its record low of 0.42 percent hit last week.

Since Treasurys are backed by the U.S. government, they are viewed as low-risk investments. Demand for government debt is typically stronger during times of uncertainty.

- reporters Blake Ellis and Hibah Yousuf contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Business • Economy
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Big Game James

    Why are the dems not shouting to the high heavens about this? The recession slowed. Obama needs more support from citizens, not Republicans. We could beat this thing if people stopped complaining, stop worrying about if Obama is muslim or not and said to hell with lindsay lohan I want America to be what it was meant to be.

    September 28, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  2. phila

    Ummmm, No. The (not your) federal reserve needs audited, and their last two heads need to be thouroughly investigated particularly for their involvment with international bankers. Both (D) and (R)'s have refused this audit for decades.

    September 28, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ancient Texan

    The Dow finished higher on the optimistic trend toward the Republican/Tea Party/ Conservative coalition taking control of Congress.

    September 29, 2010 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |