Dear shopper, how are you doing? Wall Street is dying to know.
Investors and market strategists are poring over a spate of economic data and commentary from corporate earnings calls, trying to determine how people feel about spending money in these strange times. Some investors are worried and some are jubilant, and there are data to support both perspectives. Yet while it might seem like third-quarter results tipped in the direction of consumer-spending bulls, they should think twice before declaring victory.