Advisor confidence reached its lowest level in three years, according to the Advisor Confidence Index (ACI), a benchmark that gauges advisors' views on the U.S. economy and stock market. The ACI hit negative territory for the first time ever after it dipped nearly 9% in November. The ACI, a monthly index put out by Rydex AdvisorBenchmarking, an affiliate of Rydex Investments, is down 21% since its inception in March 2004.

Advisors are concerned that the housing slump, credit crunch and high oil prices will crimp consumer spending and send the U.S. economy into recession, according to the index's findings. They are also worried about inflation.

The dour advisor mood is shared by the general public, as investor optimism nosedived in November after it fell 26 points to 44, less than half its level of 103 in January and the lowest point since Hurricane Katrina in September, 2005, according to the UBS/Gallup Index of Investor Optimism. The Index is conducted monthly and had a baseline score of 124 when it was established in October 1996.

In addition, The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which has been declining since the summer, kept up the trend with its November reading at 87.3 (1985=100), down from 95.2 in October. The Present Situation Index dipped to 115.4 from 118.0 in October, and the Expectations Index fell to 68.7 from 80.0.

All in all, it's not the best collective frame of mind to have heading into the holiday season.