Consumer Sentiment rose in the final weeks of June to 84.1 and more than had been reported at the initial reading halfway through the month and nearly matched the six-year high of 84.5 registered in May. Optimism was seen in the higher-income families. A spokesperson for the survey said that consumers believe the economic recovery has achieved an upward momentum that will not easily be reversed. The Consumer Sentiment Index uses telephone surveys to gather information on consumer expectations regarding the overall economy.
The next big shoe to fall could be in the student loan sector. Interest rates on the loans are set to double on July 1 from 3.4% to 6.8%. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill will be on a recess this week for the 4th of July holiday and the feeling is that something will be done soon after the break. With the weak job market, student loan payments have been harder to keep up with and higher rates could spell more trouble.
The second quarter of the year comes to an end today and believe it or not, 2013 is already half over. Despite the extreme volatility in the markets, Stocks are looking to close out the quarter on a positive note. The closely watched S&P 500 Index rose 2.6% for the quarter, but is down 1.1% in June. Investors started to take profits at the end of May and in June after the Fed hinted that QE III will end sooner rather than later.