Investors had several earnings and economic reports to analyze last week. Companies such as Apple, IBM and Coca Cola reported very strong second quarter earnings.
Housing starts jumped nearly 15 percent in June, and building permits — a gauge of future building activity — also grew, and new claims for jobless benefits rose by 10,000 last week as the labor market remains weak. In the week ahead, investors await earnings reports from UPS, Amazon, and Ford as well as quite a few economic reports.
We’ll gain insight on the economy with the advanced estimate of second quarter GDP — which looks at all the goods and services produced from April-June. During the first quarter, the economy grew by 1.9 percent, much slower than the previous quarter.
We’ll get a read on the housing market with the May case-shiller home price index report — which tracks price changes in metro areas such as Atlanta, New York and Tampa. In April, home prices fell 4 percent from a year ago and suggests the housing recession is far from over.
How do you feel about the economy? We’ll find out with the July consumer confidence report. In June, confidence fell to a 58.5 reading — as consumers continue to worry about the labor market and slow economic recovery. A reading over 90 indicates a healthy economy. Consumer confidence is a gauge of consumer spending.