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CNBC’s Shartia Brantley reports:
The final week of January trading was filled with earnings reports from companies like Ford, which posted its first annual profit since 2005. The Department of Commerce reports that the fourth quarter of 2009 showed the fastest pace of economic growth in 6 years with an adjusted increase in gross domestic product (GDP) of 5.7 percent over the previous quarter.
Some uncertainty was removed from the market with the second-term confirmation of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, while President Obama set out goals for stabilizing multiple sectors of the economy, including global trade and small business, in his annual State of the Union address.
In the week ahead, the state of jobs and unemployment comes into focus along with insights into housing and manufacturing trends.
The Employment Situation reports for January 2010 are due from the Department of Labor on Friday. Job losses in construction and manufacturing were partially offset by gains in health care and temporary jobs. The December 2009 unemployment rate stands at 10 percent nationally, while it rose to 16.2 percent among African-Americans. Unemployment among black teens dipped to 48.4 percent last month (from 49.8 in November), but remains the highest of any group.
On Tuesday, the National Association of Realtors publishes the December 2009 Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a leading indicator of the residential housing market. The November 2009 report showed a 16 percent month-to-month decline in real estate contracts after a months-long surge of activity spurred by the first-time homebuyer tax credit. However the rate was still 15 percent higher than November 2008 levels.
Manufacturing is on the mend in some industries according to expectations of the January 2010 Reports on Business from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), a leading trade association analyzing supply and purchasing trends. The report on manufacturing sectors is due Monday, while non-manufacturing sectors are covered in Wednesday’s report. The December 2009 report marked the fifth consecutive month of improvement across manufacturing sectors with a composite index (PMI) of nearly 56 percent, the highest reading since April 2006 (an index over 50 signals expansion).
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