theGrio and CNBC Market Update: 4/18/14

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Economic data was top of mind for investors last week.

The Beige Book, which looks at economic conditions across the 12 FED districts, reported modest growth. Consumer Prices edged up in March due to higher food prices, and new claims for jobless benefits rose by 2,000 to 304,000, near a 7-year low, signaling a stronger labor market. In the week ahead we expect a slew of earnings reports and housing data.

We’ll check on Consumer Spending with earnings reports from McDonald’s and Yum brands, parent of Taco Bell, KFC, Delta Airlines, Verizon and Procter and Gamble also report. S and P 500 companies are projected to see earnings decline by 1.6 percent compared to a year ago.

We’ll get two key reads on Housing, starting with the March Existing Home Sales Report. In February sales of previously owned homes dipped slightly, to its lowest level in 19 months. However, the median sales price increased by 9% compared to a year ago to $189,000.

We’ll also get the March new Home Sales Report. In February new home sales fell 3.3 percent, hitting a 5 month low. While the median price of a new home declined by 1 percent compared to a year ago to $262,000.