2/15/10 – theGrio & CNBC Market Update

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TheGrio and CNBC team up to deliver a weekly report of money matters and market updates for our community.

CNBC’s Shartia Brantley reports:

Last week investors received key reads on the economy. The latest weekly jobless claims report showed 43,000 fewer people applied for jobless benefits, this was a bigger drop than expected. Realtytrac reported home foreclosures in January declined 10 percent, but warned loan modification programs in place may only help temporarily.

And the challenges to small businesses continue. The survey from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) showed more than half of respondents saw their profits decline last month.

This week the markets are closed Monday for President’s Day, but investors will have plenty of housing, production and inflation data to sift through.

Is housing on the rebound? We’ll find out with the January Housing Starts report. New home construction dipped 4 percent in December due to unusually cold weather, but building permits, a gauge of future building activity, rose by 11 percent – the biggest improvement since October 2008.

The January Industrial Production Report due Wednesday from the Federal Reserve. The December report showed 0.6 percent improvement – the sixth straight month of improvement. The causes of the increase are mixed, with a slight dip in factory output, but an increase in utility output due to unusually cold weather.

Are consumer prices on the rise in 2010? We’ll find out on Friday with the “January Consumer Price Index (CPI) report”:http://www.bls.gov/cpi/, which tracks price changes for food, energy and cars. The December report showed 0.1 percent increase in consumer prices due to rising energy costs and used car prices.

Watch the video, exclusively on theGrio.com.