7/19/10 – 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 the Senate passed financial regulatory reforms to prevent another financial crisis. Reforms included in the bill range from changes to the way banks operate to new consumer protection laws. Further impacting the financial sector, the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee released minutes from its June meeting which showed a downgraded outlook on the economy.

Also last week, new claims for jobless benefits declined 29,000 claims to 429,000 claims nationwide. This is the lowest level of claims in almost two years, as manufacturers report fewer new layoffs.

In the week ahead, investors await several reports on earnings, housing, and the economy.

Dow components Coca-Cola, IBM and Caterpillar report second-quarter earnings which will provide a read on the health of the overall economy, especially for small businesses. Twenty percent of S&P 500 companies are confirmed to report Q2 earnings this week.

We’ll get two key indicators on housing starting Tuesday, with the June Housing Starts report from the Census Bureau. Housing starts fell 10 percent in May, the first full month after the initial expiration of the first-time homebuyer tax credit.

On Thursday, we’ll also get the June Existing Home Sales report from the National Association of Realtors. In May, sales of previously-owned homes and condos dipped 2.2 percent, but may recover as homeowners take advantage of the 3-month extension of the “homebuyer tax credit.”: http://www.thegrio.com/money/congress-votes-to-extend-homebuyer-tax-credit.php

Overall economic trends come into focus with the Conference Board’s “June 2010 Leading Economic Index report (LEI),”:http://www.conference-board.org/data/bcicountry.cfm?cid=1 which compiles diverse activity such as new claims for jobless benefits, building permit requests, and stock prices. The May 2010 LEI report showed a 0.4 percent increase across all sectors, and may suggest a slower rate of economic growth over the next few months.