1/23/2012- the Grio and CNBC Market Update

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Last week investors continued to monitor the European debt crisis, but also had to analyze tons of economic data. There was mixed news on the housing front. New home construction fell 4 percent in December, but building permits rose by nearly 2 percent, consumer prices were flat in December, easing concerns about inflation and new claims for jobless benefits fell by 50,000 to 352,000 — the biggest drop in over 5 years signaling strength in the labor market. In the week ahead, investors await earnings reports from McDonald’s, Apple and Xerox as well as data on interest rates, housing and consumer sentiment.

The Federal Reserve will meet to discuss the economy and interest rates. During their December meeting the fed left its key interest rate — which affects mortgage, credit card and student loan rates, and said the economy is expanding despite the global slow down

We will gain insight on the housing market with the December new home sales report. In November home sales rose by 1 point 6 percent led by gains in the South and Midwest. But the median price of a home fell by nearly 4 percent to $214,000 dollars.

Are you feeling better about the economy? We’ll find out with the final consumer sentiment report for January. Earlier this month sentiment rose to a 74 reading — its highest level in eight months — due to an improving labor market and lower gas prices. Consumer sentiment is a gauge of consumer spending…

And that’s your CNBC market look ahead for the Grio dot com. I’m Shartia Brantley.