Consumer spending increased a seasonally adjusted 0.7% in December, above expectations, according to the Commerce Department this morning. Incomes rose 0.4% in December. Consumer spending has risen in six straight months. Economists had expected a 0.4% increase in income and a 0.6% gain in spending. With spending out-pacing income, the savings rate fell to 5.3% in December from 5.5% in November. This is the lowest level since last March for savings.
Stock futures, despite the unrest in Egypt, are higher, signalling a positive open for stocks. Dow futures are up 32 points, NASDAQ futures are up 7.5 and S&P 500 futures are up 6, with about 20 minutes to go before the open.