8/2/10 – 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 considered sobering reports that the economic recovery slowed in the second quarter, although commercial spending and earning is on the rise in many sectors. American saving increased to 6.2 percent of disposable income for the first time in a year, but many African-American families have decreased saving in the face of higher costs and widespread unemployment.

President Obama called on Congress to set aside partisanship in support of his proposed small business recovery package. But low consumer sentiment continues to spur partisan conflict in advance of the midterm elections.

In the week ahead, investors will analyze second-quarter earnings reports from Pfizer, MasterCard and Allstate. Jobs will dominate headlines along with economic data on housing, manufacturing and consumer credit.

Where are the jobs? We’ll find out with the July 2010 Employment Situation report from the Dept. of Labor. The unemployment rate fell slightly to 9.5 percent in June as the private sector added 83,000 jobs. African-American unemployment declined more rapidly than any other group to 15.4 percent. Black teen unemployment rose to nearly 40 percent, rebounding to 2009 levels as temporary census jobs end.

We’ll get a read on housing Tuesday with the June Pending Home Sales Index from the National Association of Realtors, which measures contract activity. In May, signed home contracts plunged 30 percent after the initial expiration of the homebuyer tax credits, ending three consecutive months of gains.

We’ll check in on factory production with the July ISM Manufacturing Report on Business, a survey of business owners and managers. The manufacturing sector grew in June, but the overall pace of growth slowed, with a reading of 56.2, down nearly 6 percent from the previous month (readings over 50 signal economic expansion). Businesses surveyed reported ongoing recovery, but demand for manufactured goods is slowing.

Are consumers cutting debt? We’ll find out with the Consumer Credit report for June from the Federal Reserve. Americans slashed auto, school and credit card debt by $9 billion in May, the fourth month of declines. Americans hold more than $2.4 trillion of debt.