Although the April number is well below the level that would indicate a healthy and thriving consumer sector, it was much higher than expected: 57.9, up from a revised 52.3 for March.
The gold market took heart from the number. After lumbering along below $1,150 until 10:00, it took off shortly after the number was released; it peaked at $1,159.80 as of 10:45.
This take-off represents a bit of a sea change. Formerly, gold would have been depressed by good economic data because of what it implies for Fed interest-rate policy. Now, economic recovery seems to be interpreted as a harbinger of higher inflation. Perhaps the gold market has forgotten the implication it read into good data beforehand.
It seems that I was too pessimistic earlier this morning...