WASHINGTON (AP) – Layoffs, plunging home prices and tumbling investments have pushed consumer pessimism to record levels in October, a private research group said Tuesday. Wall Street surged nearly 900 points, though, focusing instead on higher global markets amid optimism the Federal Reserve will ease interest rates further.

The Conference Board said the consumer confidence index fell to 38, down from a revised 61.4 in September and significantly below analysts’ expectations of 52.

That’s the lowest level for the index since 1967.

, and the third-steepest drop. A year ago, the index stood at 95.2.


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