12/06/10 – theGrio & CNBC Market Update

african kings

Last week investors had several reports to digest. Pending home sales — which looks at contract activity— surprised to the upside and rose 10.4 percent. The manufacturing sector grew, although at a slower pace in November. But it was all about jobs. In November, the unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent, as 50,000 private sector jobs were created. African American unemployment edged up to 16 percent, while black teen unemployment declined to 46.5 percent, but remains the highest of any group. In the week ahead, investors await data on trade as well as reports on consumer spending.

We’ll get a read on the economy with the October International Trade Report. In September, the U.S trade gap declined to $44 billion due to an increase in exports, which is good news for U.S. companies.

We’ll gain insight on consumer finances with the October consumer credit report— which tracks credit card, auto, and student loan debt. In September consumer credit rose by $2 billion driven by strong auto sales. Americans carry more than $2.4 trillion of debt.

We’ll check the pulse of consumers with the preliminary December consumer sentiment report. In November, the index improved to a 71.6 reading— as Americans felt better about their current and future situation. Consumer sentiment is an important gauge for consumer spending.