Consumer confidence index plummets to a 40-year low

U.S. consumer confidence is at its lowest level since the Nixon Administration of the late 1960 and early 1970s. For younger investors, that's well before voice mail and cable television became common amenities in U.S. households.

U.S. consumer confidence plummeted in February to 25 -- a 40-year low -- the Conference Board announced Tuesday, as consumers found cause for concern in almost every area of their financial lives. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected the index to drop to 35.5 in February. The January index was revised lower to 37.4 from the previously announced 37.7; the index was at 38.6 in December 2008.