6/21/10 – 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:

Investors had to digest mixed economic news last week. New claims for jobless benefits rose by 12,000 after three weeks of decline, possibly signaling that companies are reluctant to hire. New home construction declined by 10 percent in May, to the lowest level in five months. Also in May, consumer prices fell by 0.2 percent due to lower gas and energy prices, temporarily dispelling fears of inflation in the economy.

In the week ahead, investors will consider data on housing, interest rates and consumer sentiment.

We’ll get two reports on housing starting Tuesday, with the May 2010 Existing Home Sales report from the National Association of Realtors. Sales of previously-owned homes and condos in April rose 7.6 percent month-to-month. The Census Bureau releases its report on May 2010 New Home Sales this Wednesday. Sales of new homes jumped 14.8 percent month-to-month in April, a nearly 48 percent increase over last year. Both new and existing home sales benefited from the First-Time Homebuyer tax credit, which expired April 30.

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee will hold a two-day meeting to review trends in the economy and determine interest rates. The Fed Funds rate, which affects mortgage, credit card and student loan rates, has been in the zero to 0.25 percent range since December 2008.

Finally, on Friday we’ll get a read on the consumer with the June 2010 Index of Consumer Sentiment from Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan. In May, the consumer sentiment index had a reading of 73.6, up slightly from the previous month’s index of 72.2. While the overall index has remained relatively stable since improving in September, Americans still expect certain aspects of the economic recovery to be slow.

Watch the video, exclusively on theGrio.com.