Besides analyzing the details of the fiscal cliff deal, investors closely watched the jobs report last week. In December the unemployment rate was unchanged at 7.8 percent as November’s rate was revised upwards as 155,000 jobs were created.
Health care and food services added the most jobs. Construction and manufacturing, previously hard hit sectors, also posted big gains. African-American unemployment rose to 14 percent, and black teen unemployment increased to 40.5 percent, remaining by far the highest of any group. In the week ahead we expect earnings reports as well as consumer credit and small business data.
We’ll get a read on consumers and the economy with earnings reports from Dow component, Alcoa. As well as reports from Wells Fargo, Ruby Tuesday and Wine and Beer Maker, Constellation Brands.
We’ll gain consumer insight on their finances with the November consumer credit report, which tracks credit card, auto and student loans. In October consumer credit rose by 14 billion dollars, led by sharp increases in auto and student loans.
We’ll check the pulse of small business with the December survey from the NFIB. In November small businesses grew more pessimistic with a 87.5 reading as they expect business conditions to decline over the next six months.