Investors had quite a few economic reports to sift through last week, but all eyes were on the jobs report. In June, the unemployment rate held steady at 8.2 percent as 80,000 jobs were created. Professional and business services and health care posted the biggest gains. African-American unemployment rose to 14.4 percent, while black teen unemployment jumped to 39.3 percent and remains by far the highest of any group.
In the week ahead, we kick off earnings season with reports from Alcoa, JP Morgan and Wells Fargo as well as data on small business, consumer finances and sentiment. We’ll check the pulse of small business with the June survey from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). In May small business optimism dipped slightly to a 94.4 reading — a level not seen since February 2011 — as businesses expect lower sales.
We’ll gain insight on consumer finances with the May consumer credit report–which tracks credit card, auto and student loans. In April consumer credit rose by 6.5 billion dollars — driven by an increase in auto and student loans.
We’ll get a read on consumer spending with the preliminary consumer sentiment report for July .In June sentiment declined to a 73.2 reading — it’s lowest level in six months — as consumers were more pessimistic on the economy.