What’s the Story?

by CC March 28, 2012 9:25 am • Commentary


New orders for U.S. manufactured goods rose less than expected in February and a gauge of future business investment also fell short of forecasts, Commerce Department data showed on Wednesday.

Durable goods orders rose 2.2 percent last month, only partially reversing January’s revised 3.6 percent decline.

Economists had forecast orders rising 3.0 percent last month.

Durable goods range from toasters to big-ticket items like aircraft which are meant to last three years and more.

Excluding transportation, orders climbed 1.6 percent. Economists had expected that reading to increase 1.7 percent. Machinery orders increased 5.7 percent.

Non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for future business investment, edged 1.2 percent higher, missing analysts’ expectations of a 2.0 percent gain.

A 3.9 percent increase in bookings for transportation equipment — including a 6.0 percent increase in civilian aircraft orders — drove the overall increase in durable goods orders.


From an intermediate perspective, the S&P 500 is 109.4% above the March 2009 closing low and 9.5% below the nominal all-time high of October 2007.


Stocks to Watch

Family Dollar Stores Inc., Commercial Metals Co. and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. are among the stocks that could see active trading Wednesday.

Family Dollar Stores is expected to report second-quarter earnings of $1.13 a share on sales of $2.46 billion, according to a survey of analysts by FactSet Research.

Commercial Metals is expected to report fiscal second-quarter earnings of 9 cents a share on sales of $1.98 billion.

Huntington Ingalls is seen posting a fourth-quarter earnings of 93 cents a share on revenue of $1.62 billion.


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