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U.S. consumer confidence tumbles

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - 01:40

Oct. 25 - U.S. consumer confidence hits 2-1/2 year low; Housing expert says not sure if market has hit bottom; Netflix shares plunge after 2012 warning. Conway G. Gittens reports.

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The mood of the mighty U.S. consumer darkened in October. According to the latest reading by the Conference Board, consumer confidence unexpectedly tumbled to its lowest point in 2-1/2 years; worries about jobs and income were to blame. But a sour mood doesn't always translate into weak spending. Recent reports suggest consumers are still willing to engage in some retail therapy. Home prices were unchanged in August, on a month-to-month, seasonally adjusted basis - as recorded by the closely followed S&P/Case Shiller survey. Yale University Professor Robert Shiller is co-founder of that report and is not yet sure if the housing market has hit bottom. SOUNDBITE: ROBERT SHILLER, YALE UNIVERSITY/CO-FOUNDER S&P CASE SHILLER REPORT (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Everyone is trying to come up with a policy to boost it: The Fed, The president. The problem is we have been in a down market for going on five years and maybe one of these - none of these policies looks that impressive, you know, to fix it." Shares of Netflix are being ditched like a badly reviewed film. The stock has been down as much as 40 percent in early trade. The top video rental company beat third-quarter forecasts when it announced results late-Monday, but the company expects to see more customer exits after a series of unpopular announcements this summer. Analysts say the attempt by Netflix to pass on higher costs for acquiring movies to its customers is backfiring. Conway Gittens, Reuters

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U.S. consumer confidence tumbles

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - 01:40