Bloomberg News

U.S. Stocks Erase Gains as Consumer Confidence Trails Estimates

January 31, 2012

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks erased early gains after reports showed consumer confidence trailed estimates and business activity cooled in January.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.1 percent to 1,312.21 at 10:09 a.m. in New York after climbing as much as 0.6 percent earlier.

Confidence among U.S. consumers unexpectedly dropped in January as gasoline prices picked up and more Americans said jobs were hard to get. The Conference Board’s confidence index fell to 61.1 from a revised 64.8 reading in the prior month. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a rise to 68. The figure was lower than the most pessimistic projection.

The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago Inc. said today its business barometer declined to 60.2 from 62.2 in December. Readings above 50 signal growth. Economists forecast the gauge would rise to 63, according to the median of 57 estimates in a Bloomberg survey.

--Editor: Jeff Sutherland

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael P. Regan in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael P. Regan at

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