The Reuters/University of Michigan report on consumer sentiment is out for April. Sentiment took a big hit, falling to 72.3. Bloomberg was expecting a reading of 79.0, and Dow Jones was calling for 79.0 as well. Current conditions were 84.8 for the situation today, while expectations were all the way down at 64.2. March’s final sentiment was 78.6.
As a reminder, the Reuters University of Michigan Sentiment is a poll of only 500 households about their finances and their attitudes about the economy. This is a subscription report that is sold rather than open to the public immediately like a government report. That being said, it is one of the first reports that traders, investors and speculators use for real-time barometers of the economy.
All we can ask is whether this report is telling investors something they hear each and every year regardless of the market. Does this portend that “sell in May and go away” will be alive and well when the DJIA and S&P 500 are up double-digits after and hitting all-time highs just over three months into 2013?
Stocks did not like the news. After trying to stage a comeback as profit taking occurred ahead of the weekend, the DJIA is down 40 points and the S&P 500 is down more than six points.