1/10/11 – theGrio & CNBC Market Update

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Investors had quite a bit of news to digest last week. The manufacturing sector grew in December, marking 17 months of expansion.

The services sector also improved with it’s best showing since May 2006, but it was all about jobs. In December, the unemployment rate fell to 9.4 percent – a level not seen since May 2009 as 113,000 private sector jobs were created. African American unemployment dipped slightly to 15.8 percent, while Black teen unemployment declined to 44.2 percent, but remains the highest of any group.

In the week ahead, we kick off earnings season with reports from Alcoa, Intel and J.P. Morgan. Investors also expect economic data.

We’ll gain insight on the economy with the fed’s beige book, which looks at economic trends from the fed’s twelve districts such as Atlanta, Chicago and Dallas. The last report said the economy continues to improve but employers are waiting for signs of expansion before hiring.
Is inflation a concern? We’ll find out with the December consumer price index report, which tracks price changes for food clothing and energy. In November, higher food and energy prices drove inflation up slightly

We’ll get a read on consumer spending with the January consumer sentiment report. In December, sentiment rose to a 74.5 reading. It’s highest level since June as people were more optimistic about job prospects.