November UMich consumer sentiment rises to 64.2 (by Ruth Mantell)
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- A gauge of consumer sentiment rose to 64.2 in the preliminary reading for November, compared with a final October reading of 60.9, according to Friday reports on the data from the University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a November result of 63, with consumers cheered by higher equity prices and lower unemployment-insurance claims. The sentiment reading, which covers how consumers view their personal finances as well as business and buying conditions, averaged about 87 in the year before the start of the most recent recession. Economists watch sentiment data to get a feel for the direction of consumer spending.