6/28/10 – 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 had quite a bit of economic data to digest. New Home Sales plummeted 33 percent in May, due in part to the April 30 expiration of the First-Time Homebuyer tax credits. However, housing analysts have not yet determined how much of the decline may be attributed to changing economic conditions.

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee voted to hold the fed funds rate steady at 0 to 0.25 percent, which percolates to interest, mortgage, and student loan rates. The Fed cited the moderate pace of economic recovery as a rebuttal to concerns of inflation.

Both new and continuing claims for jobless benefits declined last week, negating the spike seen earlier in the month.

In the week ahead, jobs will be front and center, as the impact of temporary census jobs continues to decline. Investors also await reports on housing and consumer confidence.

We’ll check the pulse of the labor market with the June 2010 Employment Situation report due Friday from the Dept. of Labor. In May the unemployment rate fell slightly to 9.7 percent, with 15 million Americans out of work. More than 431,000 jobs were created in May, but temporary census jobs dominated the growth. Long-term unemployed people, those out of work for 7 months or more, made up almost half of the jobless, nationwide.

African-American unemployment dipped to 15.5 percent, while black teen unemployment rose to 38 percent, remaining the highest of any group.

On Thursday, the state of the housing market comes into focus, with the National Association of Realtors’ report on Pending Home Sales, based on contracts signed in May. The index for contracts signed in April rose 6 percent, for the third straight month of improvement, driven largely by the First-Time Homebuyer tax credits.

Are you feeling better about the economy? We’ll find out with the June 2010 Consumer Confidence report from the Conference Board. In May, consumer optimism rose for a third consecutive month to an index of 63.3, its highest reading in more than two years.

Watch the video, exclusively on theGrio.com.