Trio of Economic Indicators Not as Bad as Expected
A trio of economic reports came in this morning still bad, but not as bad as expected, giving the markets enough hope to wipe out their morning dive and move into positive territory.
-- Pending home sales inched up in February, according to the National Association of Realtors, off of their record lows. The group's index was up 2.1 percent from the previous month, but remained 1.4 percent lower than February 2008.
-- The U.S. manufacturing sector failed to grow for a 14th consecutive month, reports the Institute for Supply Management. However, the group's "new orders" index rose above a significant benchmark for the first time in seven months, which is seen as a hopeful sign.
-- Construction spending in February fell at a smaller-than-expected rate in February, the Commerce Department reported. It fell 3.5 percent in January, compared with January 2008, but only by 0.9 percent in February, compared with the same month last year.
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