Good news has arrived this morning as the market and consumers show signs of optimism.
- Market indexes are generally down this morning ahead of Federal Reserve announcements—including the S&P 500 (-0.32%) and Nasdaq. (-0.72%).
- Despite this, the S&P 500 is still close to setting record year-to-date highs with an overall increase of 19%.
- The S&P 500 came within 5% of eclipsing its January 3 high water mark on Tuesday afternoon, and stocks are up 28% from October’s bear market, Axios reports.
- Morning Consult’s Index of Consumer Sentiment also shows that consumer confidence is at 18 month high, with sentiment increasing above 90 points for the first time since December 2021.
- Another survey from the University of Michigan says consumer confidence is up 13% since last month.
Why It’s Important
The U.S. economy is still facing severe issues. Inflation remains high at 3%, interest rates are high, the labor market is tightening, and the real estate market is shrinking. The Federal Reserve is set to announce another 25 Basis Point interest rate hike Wednesday afternoon, which has left the stock market tensely anticipating the fallout of higher interest rates.
Recession fears remain high, although many analysts are growing more optimistic about the possibility of a soft landing. The general mood of the economy has become increasingly optimistic, with consumer spending high and the stock market rallying. Americans generally feel confident about their jobs and the near future.
As Morning Consult senior economist Jesse Wheeler tells Axios, the market’s mood has improved stock market gains, boosting household wealth and slowing layoffs. This positive sentiment extends to the middle-class and lower-class, who are seeing wage improvements. This is reflected in the highest consumer sentiment for both groups since January 2022.