Crash geben, aber was sich abzeichnet, ist auch nicht besser: In nächster Zeit scheinen die Kurse bei einem gewissen Auf und Ab stückchenweise immer geringer zu werden. Da wird auch wohl die bisher noch positive Charttechnik wenig helfen können.
Im übrigen wurde der Nasdaq heute - neben einigen Unternehmensdaten - auch vom Wetter unterstützt.
Tuesday January 25, 6:26 pm Eastern Time
WRAPUP-US consumer confidence, home sales hit records
(Releads to add existing homes sales data)
By Stella Dawson
NEW YORK, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Consumer confidence soared to an all-time high in January and upbeat Americans bought existing homes at a record pace last year, according to private reports on Tuesday that showed good economic times will keep rolling a while longer.
The Conference Board said its Consumer Confidence Index for January surged to 144.7, the highest level ever in its 32-year history. The December reading was upwardly revised to 141.7 from 141.4 level previously reported, the private economic research group said.
The National Association of Realtors said 5.2 million homes changed hands last year, the fourth straight record year.
The upbeat American consumer is underpinning the strong economic expansion, which is about to enter a record 107th consecutive month of growth in February, and analysts said this reading ensures that no quick slowdown lies ahead.
``An expanding global economy and a robust job market suggest that consumer optimism and consumer spending could rise even further in the coming months,'' said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board's Consumer Research Council.
But the housing market is starting to show some early signs of strain. The Realtors group said existing homes sales for December fell by 1.4 percent to an annual sales rate of 5.06 million sales.
Analysts said the December data show higher interest rates are pushing some marginal buyers out of the marketplace. Mortgage rates climbed by the end of December to 8.06 percent, their highest level since August and more than a quarter percentage point above November's average rates.
``With rates relatively high, we should see sales slowly fade,'' said Joel Naroff, a private economist.
Still, economists said confident consumers will keep on buying houses, so they look for no dramatic decline in home sales any time soon.
U.S. Treasuries prices slipped initially and stocks were mixed after release of the consumer confidence data on worries that it may take some aggressive monetary tightening by the Federal Reserve to slow down the gangbusters economy.
``There is nothing in this report to assuage the Fed. The strong stock market last month gave consumers a sense of ebullience,'' said Carl Weinberg, chief economist at High Frequency Economics.
But Treasury prices later regained their footing, leaving the yield on the benchmark 30-year bond little changed from Monday's closing level of 6.62 percent, as traders await a reading later this week from Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan on the economic outlook.
Greenspan was scheduled to testify on Tuesday before the Senate Budget Committee, but the testimony was canceled because of bad weather. The Fed chief, who has been reappointed by President Clinton, is due to testify at a confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday.
Two separate reports on Tuesday demonstrated how soaring consumer optimism is fueling robust retail spending. LJR Redbook Research said retail sales last week rose by 3.4 percent compared with the same week a year ago, while BTM/Schroders retail chain stores index rose by 4.9 percent for the same period.
``The strength in consumer confidence points to strong consumer spending, and as long as the labor market is strong, consumers have jobs and the stock market is up, you will have this strength,'' said Marilyn Schaja, economist at Donaldson Lufkin and Jenrette Securities Corp.
The Conference Board's Franco said the jobs component of the index shows healthy labor markets -- unemployment is near 30-year lows -- are underpinning the go-go attitude of the consumer.
The percentage of consumers who said jobs were plentiful rose two points to 54 percent in January, while those saying work was hard to find fell to 11.3 percent in January from 11.8 percent in December, the board said.
Looking ahead, consumers expect the rosy economic scenario to continue. The outlook six months ahead climbed to 119.7, the highest level since a 122.4 seen in January 1984, and up from an upwardly revised 115.0 in December. The current conditions index also posted a new record of 182.4 in January, up from an upwardly revised 181.7 in December.
But Weinberg said the consumer confidence report may have peaked. As stock markets wobble and the central bank raises interest rates, consumers may draw in their horns in February, he said. The Fed is widely expected to push up official short-term rates by a quarter percentage point to 5.75 percent at its Feb. 1-2 meeting.
The Conference Board compiles its monthly survey by sampling 5,000 U.S. households.