NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. consumer sentiment improved in early May, as optimism about jobs reduced the pinch from high gasoline and food prices, a survey released on Friday showed.
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STEVE GOLDMAN, MARKET STRATEGIST, WEEDEN & CO.
"For stock prices it's usually a sentiment indicator. When it drops off sharply like it did two months ago it's actually positive for stock prices ... the best gains for the stock market were not when consumer confidence was 110 but in the 50-70 range."
CARY LEAHEY, ECONOMIST AND MANAGING DIRECTOR, DECISION ECONOMICS
VIMOMBI NSHOM, ECONOMIST, IFR ECONOMICS, A UNIT OF THOMSON REUTERS
"We are now nearly two months removed from the CSI's demoralizing decline of ten points (a result of consumers' difficulty managing rising gas prices with stifled wages and correspondingly growing pessimism) but still some five points shy of the level reached earlier in the year when the CSI maintained an average in the mid-70s. If confidence continues to crawl along with these two-point monthly gains, we will not see aspirational confidence levels -- and consequently nor a pickup in spending -- until Q3. That decline had immediately followed the index's impressive ascent to 77.5 in February -- a level reminiscent of optimism three years ago."
SEAN INCREMONA, ECONOMIST, 4CAST LTD, NEW YORK
"Its stronger than expected, we definitely like to see that development. Especially after that really big March fall, it shows we are continuing to climb out of that hole."
STOCKS: U.S. stocks pare losses briefly.
BONDS: U.S. bond prices held steady at higher levels.
FOREX: The dollar holds steady versus euro