Consumer confidence fell in September even though consumer prices remained mostly flat in August, and that mixed data released Friday left stocks range-bound in typically lackluster trading.
In midafternoon trading, the Dow Jones industrial average stood about 18 points higher, or 0.17%, never straying far from the day’s open at 10,595.51. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index was up 1.53 points, or 0.14%, at 1,126.19, and the Nasdaq composite was up 12.97 points, or 0.56%, at 2,315.99.
This summer, Friday activity has gained a reputation for providing little evidence about where the market is headed.
Disappointing economists’ expectations, the Thomson Reuters-University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey worsened in early September to its weakest level in more than a year, as job and finance worries intensified. The overall index’s preliminary September reading was posted at 66.6, down from 68.9 in August.
Economists had expected the index would rise to 70.