theGrio and CNBC Market Update: 8/19/13

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Besides keeping an eye on the volatile markets, investors had to digest several economic reports.

Small business optimism increased in July as businesses expect sales to improve over the next few months. Consumer prices rose slightly in July marking three consecutive months of gains driven by higher gas prices and new claims for jobless benefits fell by 15,000 to 320,000, it’s lowest level since October 2007. In the week ahead we expect fed minutes and key housing data.

We’ll gain insight on the economy with minutes from the federal reserve meeting in July.¬† During the meeting the fed left its key interest rate which affects mortgage, credit card and student loan rates, unchanged and said the economy has decelerated somewhat from its June meeting.

We’ll get two key reads on housing starting with the July existing home sales report. June sales of previously owned homes declined 1.2% as mortgage rates rise. However, the median sales price increased to more than $214,000.

We’ll also get the new home sales report for July. June sales jumped 8.3 percent, to its highest level in five years, marking three straight months of gains. But, the price of a new home declined by 5 percent to just under two hundred fifty thousand dollars.