GOOD NEWS: Consumer Confidence Index hits 3-year high

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    NEW YORK (AP) – The Consumer Confidence Index rose in February
    to its highest point in three years as consumers are feeling more
    positive about their income prospects and the direction the economy
    is headed.

    The Conference Board says its Consumer Confidence Index climbed
    to 70.4 this month, up from a revised 64.8 in January, hitting its
    highest level since February 2008. It was the index’s fifth
    consecutive monthly increase and topped expectations of a reading
    of 65.0 among economists, according to FactSet.

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    The reading is better than economists had expected but still
    below the 90-plus readings that signal a stable economy.

    Consumers’ assessment of current business conditions improved
    only moderately in February. Their feelings about near-term job
    prospects were mixed.

    (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)