12/20/10 – theGrio & CNBC Market Update

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There was plenty of economic news for investors to digest last week. The Federal Reserve left its key interest rate— which affects mortgage, credit card, and student loan rates unchanged—in the zero to 0.25 percent range. New home construction rose by nearly four percent in November due to an increase in single family homes, and inflation remains at bay, according to the latest consumer price index report. The markets are closed Friday for the Christmas holiday, but despite a short trading week, investors expect GDP housing and personal income reports.

We’ll get a read on the economy with the final Third Quarter GDP report-– which looks at all the goods and services produced from July through September. The preliminary report released last month showed the economy grew 2.5 percent, much faster than the previous quarter.

We expect a few housing reports starting with the October Existing Home Sales report—which looks at sales of previously owned homes and condos. In October sales declined more than 2 percent. We’ll also get a read on new home sales for November. They declined 8 percent in October despite lower home sales. Available housing supply stands at nearly nine months.

We’ll gain insight on the consumer with thePersonal Income report for November. In October, personal income rose 0.5 percent and household spending increased as well, signaling a stronger consumer.