Consumers in July lost confidence in the overall economy with the Reuter's/University of Michigan Survey of Consumer Confidence Sentiment dropping to an index score of 72 in the first part of July, down from 73.2 in the most recent report.

It's the lowest score recorded this year and well under the average analyst estimate projecting an index score in the 73.5 range.

"The weakness in the report is in the expectations component which is down 3 points to 64.8 and which unfortunately is the weakest reading of the year," said analysts with Econoday. "Perhaps this reflects, given headlines out of Europe, concerns over the global outlook, concerns however that, based on strength in current conditions, have yet to hit the U.S. consumer."

At the same time, the U.S. consumer is being assisted by a general moderation in gas prices, Econoday said.

"One-year inflation expectations are down a big 3 tenths to 2.8%," the research firm wrote. "Five-year expectations are unchanged at the same 2.8%. Today's report, as far as immediate data on July is concerned, is a positive but one masked by the headline. Stocks moved lower than higher in initial but limited reaction to today's report."