There was quite a bit of data for investors and consumers to ponder last week; the USPS announced it will cut Saturday mail delivery to save $2 billion in costs annually. On the job front Home Depot said it will hire 80,000 seasonal workers for the spring. This comes as new claims for jobless benefits fell by 5,000 to 366,000 showing signs of a labor market recovery. In the week ahead we’ll check on consumer spending with earnings reports from Coca-Cola, GM and Avon, as well as data on small businesses, retail sales and sentiment.
We are going to check the pulse of small business with the January survey from the NFIB. In December small business optimism ticked up slightly to an 88 reading but was second lowest reading since March 2010 as companies were more pessimistic on hiring.
We’ll get a read on consumers with the January retail sales report which tracks food, clothing and auto sales. In December retail sales increased by .5 percent, much higher than expected, it was boosted by auto sales.
Are you feeling better about the economy? We’ll find out with the initial consumer sentiment report for February. In January sentiment rose to a 73.8 reading as consumers overcame previous worries about the fiscal cliff. Sentiment is a gauge of consumer spending.
That’s your CNBC market look ahead for theGrio.com I’m Shartia Brantley.