theGrio and CNBC Market Update: 4/8/13

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Investors closely watched the jobs report last week. In March the unemployment rate fell slightly to 7.6 percent  as 88,000  jobs were created, this was well below estimates of 200,000 jobs, and marked the fewest number of jobs created since June 2012 as more people left the work force. Professional and business services and health care added the most jobs. African-American unemployment fell to 13.3 percent while black teen unemployment dropped by 10 points to  33.8 percent, but remains the highest of any group. In the week ahead, we expect data on small business, retail sales and consumer sentiment.

We’ll check the pulse of small businesses with the March survey from the N.F.I. B. in February small business optimism  rose by nearly 2 points to a 90.8 reading as businesses expect to invest in new equipment and inventory.

We’ll get a read on consumers with the March retail sales report, which tracks food, clothing and auto sales. In February retail sales rose by 1.1 percent the biggest increase since September, boosted by strong auto sales.

Are you feeling better about the economy? We’ll find out with the initial consumer sentiment report for April. In March sentiment rose to a 78.6 reading as consumers were more optimistic about their current situation. Sentiment is a gauge of consumer spending.