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Confidence improves, but still very low

Consumer confidence picked up a bit in April, according to the Conference Board's survey, but as this chart reminds us, confidence is still quite low from an historical perspective. Consumer confidence is not a leading, but rather a lagging indicator, so the value of this information is rather limited. But it does underscore the points I've been making for a long time, namely that there is no shortage of pessimism out there, no shortage of things to worry about, and it's difficult to find any signs of "irrational exuberance" in market pricing. The market, like the public in general, is still climbing walls of worry. This gives the edge to bulls, as long as the economy avoids significant deterioration. 

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