2/21/11 – theGrio and CNBC Market Update

Last week investors had quite a bit of data to sift through. There was mixed news on the housing front — new home construction jumped 14.6 percent in January but building permits declined by 10.4 percent. Consumer prices rose 4 tenths of 1 percent in January due to a surge in food and gas prices. New claims for jobless benefits rose by 25000, much more than expected.

The markets are closed Monday for President’s Day. Besides earning reports from DOW components Home Depot, Wal-Mart, and Hewlett-Packard, investors await data on GDP, housing and consumer confidence.

We’ll gain insight on the economy with the second estimate of 4th quarter GDP- which looks at all the goods and services produced from October through December, the previous estimate showed the economy grew by 3.2 percent (much higher than the previous two quarters.)

We’ll check in on housing with the existing and new home sales reports for January. In December, sales of previously owned homes jumped 12.3 percent, due to seller price-cutting. New home sales rose 17.5 percent with the western part of the US driving growth.

The February consumer confidence report will shed light on whether or not American think the economy is improving. In January, confidence rose to its highest in 8 months with a 60.6 reading. Americans were more optimistic on the economy and job market.