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U.S. consumer sentiment index jumps nearly 7% in September

In a memo to clients earlier this week, Oaktree Capital Chairman Howard Marks - describing the self-fulfilling role psychology plays in economic growth - said that despite the current state of consumers' distress since the financial crisis, "The U.S. consumer has a tendency to surprise on the upside." If that logic rings true, the latest data from The University of Michigan Survey of Consumer Confidence Sentiment index, released Friday, could be good news for the U.S. economy. The index rose to 79.2 - its highest level since May - from 74.3 a month earlier. It was widely expected by economists to fall to 74.