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CNBC’s Shartia Brantley reports:
Last week investors had several major global and domestic headlines to digest. Sovereign debt concerns in Greece weighed on the international markets, while jobs came back in focus as more workers re-entered the labor market.
The April unemployment rate rose slightly to 9.9 percent, but more than 290,000 jobs were created. African-American unemployment was unchanged at 16.5 percent, while black teen unemployment dipped to 37.3 percent, still the highest of any group.
In the week ahead, investors await reports on small business, retail sales and consumer sentiment.
We’ll check the pulse of small business with the April 2010 Index of Small Business Optimism from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). The March report showed that small business owners are not hiring or expanding despite an improving economy. Optimism fell 1.2 points in March to an 86.8 reading, marking an unprecedented 18 months below an index of 90.
The April Advance Retail Trade and Food Sales report from the U.S. Economic Census which tracks food, clothing and auto sales is due Friday. The March Advance report showed a 1.6 percent month-to-month improvement in retail sales and was 7.6 percent higher compared to a year ago.
Offering a look at manufacturing, utilities and mining, the Federal Reserve’s April 2010 Industrial Production report is also due Friday. Production edged up only 0.1 percent in March, much less than expected by analysts as heating demand fell sharply in the face of unseasonably warm temperatures.
Are consumers feeling better about the economy? We’ll find out this week with the May 2010 Index Consumer Sentiment advance report from Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan. In April, consumer confidence in the economy rebounded to 72.2, but was still well below March levels.
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