Consumer confidence mirrors stock market decline

If one compares a key consumer confidence indicator with the Dow's performance over the past 18 months or so, a distinct pattern appears: consumer confidence has, basically, fallen in step with the Dow's.

Consumer confidence as measured by The Conference Board did edge up in March to 26, from a revised reading of 25.3 in February, but the index nevertheless remains near a record low. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected the index to rise to 28.0 in March. The index was at 37.4 in January and at 38.6 in December 2008.