Don't Believe the Hype

So what? The Consumer Confidence Index came out sharply higher Tuesday and was immediately hailed as a bullish sign, hence, a likely boost to the stock market. Two things wrong! First, the index is an economic measurement, not a stock market measurement, and economics and stock market prices are hardly in lockstep. Second, if it has any value it is as a coincident indicator, not as a leading indicator, making it valueless as a predictive tool.

Looking at the two charts below, covering the same time frame, it is apparent that the tops and bottoms are nearly coincident, meaning, ironically, that the public, as represented by market levels, is the most confident at tops and least confident at bottoms. So the knee-jerk reaction to a high confidence level is exactly wrong, yet it is invariably touted as bullish....298 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

Read the full story and get access to the Real Money Pro trading floor.

There’s no substitute for a trading floor to get great ideas, so Jim Cramer created a better one at Real Money and blogs there exclusively. We then added legendary hedge fund manager, Doug Kass, with his exclusive Daily Diary and best investing ideas. Staffed with more than 4 dozen investing pros, money managers, journalists and analysts, Real Money Pro gives you a flood of opinions, analysis and actionable trading advice found nowhere else, and allows you to interact directly with each expert.

Already a Subscriber? Please login.

Except as otherwise indicated, quotes are delayed. Quotes delayed at least 20 minutes for all exchanges. Market Data provided by Interactive Data. Company fundamental data provided by Morningstar. Earnings and ratings provided by Zacks. Mutual fund data provided by Valueline. ETF data provided by Lipper. Powered and implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions.

TheStreet Ratings updates stock ratings daily. However, if no rating change occurs, the data on this page does not update. The data does update after 90 days if no rating change occurs within that time period.

IDC calculates the Market Cap for the basic symbol to include common shares only. Year-to-date mutual fund returns are calculated on a monthly basis by Value Line and posted mid-month.