Stocks hold gains after consumer confidence falls - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Stocks hold gains after consumer confidence falls

NEW YORK (AP) -- Wall Street is taking a dose of bad economic news with relative calm, holding on to most of its gains after a report that consumer confidence is at its lowest level in 41 years.

  The Conference Board said its index of consumer confidence has fallen to 38 during October, well below the reading of 51 analysts expected.

  Consumers surveyed by the research group expected labor and business conditions to worsen considerably going in the months ahead.

  Wall Street is worried that consumers will be less willing to spend as they see their retirement accounts pummeled by the year-old pullback in the stock market.

  Still, a drop in confidence was widely expected given the litany of bad economic news this month.

  The Dow is up 200, or 2.41 percent, at the 8,372 level after being up more than 300 earlier.

  The Standard & Poor's 500 index is up 2.49 percent, while the Nasdaq composite index is up 2.26 percent.

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