The University of Michigan and Reuters reported the second lowest reading of the consumer sentiment index in the last 15 years. This month's reading was 75.0, far below analysts' estimates of 79.5, and a large drop off from last month's 80.9. "Sentiment readings are now out of the caution area and into the DANGER zone," wrote Robert Brusca, chief economist at Fact and Opinion Economics. "Things do seem to be unraveling a bit faster." Consumers have been resilient with the recent economic turmoil up till now, but it seems high energy prices and the uncertainty in the housing and credit markets are having their affects. The fact that this reading comes on the cusp of the holiday season could spell trouble for retailers. On Thursday, U.S. retailers reported the worst October sales in the last 12 years, and in trading Friday, U.S. markets hit a two-month low.
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