In today's, Early Look I proactively prepared for what was beginning to look like another day of "fear" in the markets. The data we collected seemed to point to a better than average possibility that consumer confidence would come in very strong relative to "Armageddon" expectations.
To summarize - April was a good month; the Obama's had a successful trip to Europe, the Dow Jones has moved closer to 8K, and there has been a clear sign of stabilization in the housing market in February and March, and it's the spring time!
The cutoff date for April's preliminary results was April 21st, so the fear consumers may be feeling now from the Swine flu will impact May's sentiment reading. Clearly, if the swine flu remains an "above the fold" story it will slow the rate of change in confidence we may see in May.
Helping to boost Keith McCullough's "big call" on jobs was the employment outlook, which improved on a 4-week moving average basis so far every week in April. According to the Conference Board, the percentage of consumers anticipating fewer jobs in the months ahead decreased to 33.6% from 41.6%, while those expecting more jobs increased to 13.9% from 7.3%.