Strong Consumer Sentiment Sends Stocks Higher


Markets were trading mostly higher today after two rough days across the board. Oil is trading over $86 again, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) has gained 0.07%, and the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) is up 0.33%.

Investors may be worrying about the fiscal cliff day and night but consumers are happy unemployment is going down and that some sort of stability has reached the economy. A University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters consumer sentiment gauge rose to 84.9 in November, which we haven't seen since 2007.

Boeing (NYS: BA) led the Dow's winners today, rising 2.9% on the day. The company confirmed an order of 20 737 Max aircraft from ALAFCO yesterday, and it also reported that it totaled more than 1,000 new orders this year. Sales are currently about double the pace of Airbus and the company is performing well in a tough economic environment.

Over at Disney (NYS: DIS) the news wasn't quite as cheerful. The company largely met expectations for the fiscal fourth quarter but CEO Bob Iger expects some transition in the coming quarter as it spends more on sports rights costs and Cars Land in Disneyland. The company also has a tough comparison with the box office hit Cars 2.

Disney has been beaten up in recent weeks, but the company owns incredibly strong franchises like ESPN, Pixar, and Marvel, so I think this is really just short-term weakness. For long-term investors this is a perfect time to jump into the stock.

Macro data still looks strong and consumer confidence is very bullish for the markets going forward. The big challenge is this pesky fiscal cliff that needs to be resolved by a government that's deeply divided. If it's resolved we could be in for a nice pop, but in the meantime investors should buckle up for a wild ride.

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Fool contributor Travis Hoium has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. You can follow Travis on Twitter at @FlushDrawFool, check out his personal stock holdings or follow his CAPS picks at TMFFlushDraw. The Motley Fool owns shares of Walt Disney. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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