U.S. Consumer Sentiment at Lowest Level for Year

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By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A measure of U.S. consumer sentiment fell in June to the lowest level for 2012, dragged down by a sluggish job market and weak growth.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment fell to 73.2 in June from 79.3 in May. Higher-income households said they planned to cut back on spending, accounting for much of the drop.

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The report echoes the Conference Board's survey of consumer confidence, which fell in June for the fourth straight month. Concerns about the job market are outweighing the benefits of lower gas prices.

Investors, however, brushed off the report. Stocks are soaring in early trading after European leaders agreed on steps to address that region's financial crisis. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped more than 200 points.

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