Blue-chip stocks are headed higher this afternoon on the heels of better-than-expected news about consumer confidence. With roughly an hour left in the trading session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
Results from the University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters index of consumer sentiment released today suggest that Americans are feeling better about things than they have in almost six years. The preliminary reading for the month of May came in at 83.7, well ahead of the previous month's 76.4. Assuming the results aren't subsequently revised, this marks the highest level since July of 2007. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected a reading of 77.5.
Multiple sources are attributing this news to the ongoing rally in stocks. As an analyst quoted by The Wall Street Journal noted, "The consumer-confidence data is what is really pushing the market today. Ultimately we need to get the consumer to be more of a factor in the economy."
In terms of individual stocks, Boeing
This interest goes a long way toward explaining the performance of Boeing's stock this year despite the company's recently resolved issues with its flagship 787 Dreamliner. For the year, shares of Boeing are higher by 31% compared to the Dow's 18%.
Heading lower, alternatively, are shares of Merck