US consumer confidence declined in July to the lowest level since February 2021 on dimmer views of the economy amid persistent inflation. This was third monthly decline for the index in a row. The steady weakening in sentiment risks causing consumers to cut back on discretionary purchases at a time when the economy is struggling for momentum. Inflation has dented confidence and forced the Federal Reserve to pursue aggressive interest-rate hikes geared at curbing demand.
U.S. new home sales plunged 8.1% to a seasonally-adjusted rate of 590,000 in June, from a revised 642,000 in the prior month, according to the Commerce Department. The number of new homes sold is the lowest since April 2020, during the depths of the coronavirus pandemic. Sales have fallen since hitting a peak of 1.04 million in August 2020.
Microsoft shares are higher even after the software maker reported fiscal fourth-quarter results that were lower than Wall Street estimates. Microsoft’s revenue increased by 12% year over year in the quarter, which ended on June 30, compared with 18% growth in the previous quarter. The company also lowered guidance for income based on changing foreign exchange rates.