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Economic Report: Consumer confidence improves in October after three straight declines

The numbers: The index of consumer confidence rose to 113.8 in October from a revised 109.8 in the prior month, the Conference Board said Tuesday. This is the first gain after three straight declines.

Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a decline to 108.

Big picture: Consumer confidence has slumped since the index hit 128.9 in June. Ordinarily, this would be a clear warning sign about the health of the economy. But economists say the healthy labor market and rising wages suggest the economy is on firm footing.

Market reaction: Stocks
DJIA,
+0.39%

SPX,
+0.70%

opened higher on Tuesday as corporate earnings reports showed that, in general, companies were not damaged by higher inflation.

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