Stocks, however, pared earlier gains after consumer sentiment sunk to its lowest level in two years, according to the University of Michigan's preliminary reading. The consumer sentiment index is an important measure since consumers spend more when they feel confident in the economy and strong consumer spending is crucial to a sustainable U.S. economic recovery. The consumer sentiment index fell to 63.8, from June's level of 71.5. Economists had been projecting a milder decline, to a reading of 71.4, according to Briefing.com.
Shortly after results from the European bank stress tests were released, the Italian parliament passed its austerity budget, leading the euro to trade 0.01% higher against the greenback. The dollar index weakened 0.06%.
The FTSE in London shed 0.06%, while the DAX in Frankfurt added by 0.07%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.3% while Japan's Nikkei gained 0.4%.Other macroeconomic releases from the morning got minimal reaction from the market.
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