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Behind the Puzzling Gains in Confidence

MarketWatch (09/25/12) Steve Goldstein

Consumer-confidence surveys by the University of Michigan and the Conference Board showed big increases in September. The combined one-month gain on those indexes, of 13.9 points, was the strongest since December. Potential reasons for the increases include gains in house and stock prices. Home prices may have gained 4.6% year-on-year in August, according to a forecast from CoreLogic. Meanwhile, in August, the dividend-reinvested S&P 500 was up some 18% year-on-year, according to Haver Analytics data, marking the strongest gain since July 2011. Returns have not been simultaneously this good for homes and stocks since 2006.