(March 31, 2009) The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had declined sharply in February, was flat in March. The Index now stands at 26.0 (1985=100), up from 25.3 in February. The Present Situation Index declined to 21.5 from 22.3 last month. The Expectations Index increased to 28.9 from 27.3 in February.
In March Reports The Conference Board
--Job demand drops 100,000 in March after dipping only 6,600 in February.
--February and March losses slow significantly from the sharp 1 million loss in December and January.
--Historical data for May 2005 through July 2007 have been revised.
--Outlook: March's numbers are evidence that the downturn in the labor market has not reversed yet.
The Wall Street Digest, Inc.
(April 2009) Stock prices are all about corporate profits, yet the headline on the March 16, 2009, Investor's Business Daily announces: "Corporate Profits Are Plunging, And the True Picture May Be Worse." It's no surprise that first-quarter earnings aren't going to look pretty. But some experts warn the results could be uglier than they seem.