8/23/10 – 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 received mixed news on the economy last week. Companies including Walmart and Home Depot reported second quarter profits, while Lowe’s and BJ’s Wholesale Club fell short of expectations.

Housing starts rose 1.7 percent in July, but home construction permits, which are a gauge of future building activity, fell 3 percent. In labor, new claims for jobless benefits rose by 12,000 to a 9-month high of 500,000 – signaling that unemployment may remain high for a while longer.

This week investors await reports on GDP, housing and consumer sentiment.

We’ll get a read on the economy Friday with the Second Quarter 2010 Gross Domestic Product report (GDP) from the Commerce Dept. GDP measures the value of all of the goods and services produced in the United States. The Advance GDP report released last month showed the economy grew by 2.4 percent in the second quarter, but at a slower rate than the beginning of the year.

We’ll gain insight on housing with the July Existing Home Sales report from the National Association of Realtors. In June, sales of previously-owned homes dipped 5.1 percent to a 3-month low. We’ll also get a read on July 2010 New Home Sales from the Census Bureau. Sales of new homes rose nearly 24 percent in June after a steep decline the previous month.

As Americans worry about their jobs and finances, what impact will it have on the consumer economy? We’ll find out with the August Consumer Sentiment report from Thompson Reuters and the Univ. of Michigan. Consumer sentiment fell to a 9-month low in July with a 67.8 reading.