Last week there was quite a bit of economic data for investors to digest during the last week of 2011 trading. Consumer confidence jumped in December to its highest level since April. There was, however, mixed news on the housing front. Home prices fell for the second month in a row in October, while pending home sales increased in November by 7 point 3 percent to a level not seen since April 20-10. In the week ahead investors expect data on jobs, manufacturing and consumer credit.
Where are the jobs? We’ll find out with the December employment report. In November the unemployment rate fell to 8 point 6 percent as 120 — thousand jobs were created. Business services and retail saw the biggest gains, but the unemployment rate for African Americans rose to 15 point 5 percent. Black teen unemployment increased to 39 point 6 percent , remaining by far the highest of any group.
Speaking of jobs…we’ll get a read on the manufacturing with the December report from the institute for supply management. In November production rose to a 52 point 7 reading— its fastest pace since June— due to an increase in new orders. A reading above 50 signals expansion.
We’ll gain insight on consumer finances with the November consumer credit report — which tracks credit cards, auto and student loans. In October consumer credit rose by 7 point 3 billion dollars — boosted by strong auto sales and student loans… credit card use also rose slightly.
And that’s your CNBC market look ahead for theGrio.com. I’m Shartia Brantley.