2/28/11 – theGrio and CNBC Market Update

african kings

Last week investors kept an eye on the unrest in Libya — which drove oil prices to their highest level in nearly 2 and a half years. Sales of previously owned homes were up nearly 3 percent, but home prices fell to their lowest level since 2002. Consumer confidence reached a 3-year high as Americans were more optimistic on the economy. In the week ahead investors expect reports on the economy, personal income and jobs.

Is the job market improving? We’ll find out with the February jobs report. In January the unemployment rate fell to 9 percent — as 50,000 private sector jobs were created. African-American unemployment dipped slightly to 15.7 percent, while black teen unemployment rose to 45.4 percent remaining the highest of any group.

We’ll gain insight on the economy with the Fed’s beige book — which looks at economic trends from the Feds 12 districts such as Boston, Cleveland, and New York. The last report showed the economy is improving driven by gains in manufacturing, but real estate remains weak.

We’ll get a read on consumer spending and finances with the January Personal Income Report. In December, consumers saw their wages increase by 4/10 of 1 percent. Spending rose 7 percent – as Americans tapped their savings for purchases.