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[video] Quick Take: Consumer Coming On Strong

Tickers in this article: M QQQ SPY

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The S&P 500 is slightly higher in afternoon trading, with the Nasdaq leading indices into the green. TheStreet's Debra Borchardt is with Ben Willis of Albert Fried & Company, discussing the effects of the U.S. consumer. 

While economists have said that the consumer and economy remain weak and sluggish, Willis suggested that that doesn't seem to be the case. 

Consumers have ramped up shopping and eating out, evident by the recent earnings reports from Potbelly and Macy's , which topped analysts' expectations. 

Although five years ago Willis said the broader market was a screaming buy, that's no longer the case. 

He suggested that investors be more selective when looking for stocks to buy as the global economy continues to improve. 

Willis said that college graduates are also starting to find work, which has been a big problem since the recession hit several years ago. 

These young people might not be working their dream jobs yet, but at least they've found employment, he added. Willis concluded that while things are improving, there's definitely still a divide between the "haves and the have-nots."

-- Written by Bret Kenwell in Petoskey, Mich.