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Markets rallied after a slew of data sent mixed signals about the economy.First the scoreboard:

Dow: 13,485, +72.4, +0.5%
S&P 500: 1,447, +13.8, +0.9%
NASDAQ: 3,136, +42.9, +1.3%

And now the top stories:

  • Durable goods orders unexpectedly plunged by 13.0 per cent in August.  This was much worse than the 5.0 per cent decline expected by economists.  Excluding transportation, the orders fell 1.7 per cent, which was worse than the 0.2 per cent gain expected. This report is known to be volatile, but today’s number seemed a bit extreme. “It looks nearly certain at this point that manufacturing is in a recession,” said New Deal democrat of The Bonddad Blog.
  • Q2 GDP growth was unexpectedly slashed to 1.3 per cent from a previous reading of 1.7 per cent. “The “third” estimate of the second-quarter per cent change in real GDP is 0.4 percentage point, or $16.0 billion, less than the “second” estimate issued last month, primarily reflecting downward revisions to private inventory investment, to personal consumption expenditures, and to exports,” wrote the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  Personal consumption growth was revised down to 1.5 per cent from 1.7 per cent.
  • “As we recently noted, you’ll need to watch the rear-view mirror to see the recession come into focus,” wrote ECRI’s Lakshman Achuthan in an email to Business Insider.  Achuthan has been calling for a U.S. recession for around a year. CITI: This Is What Will Happen To The Global Economy Through The Next Three Years >
  • Pending home sales also disappointed, unexpectedly falling 2.6 per cent in August.  Economists were expecting prices to climb 0.3 per cent.  It’s worth noting, however, that last month’s figure was revised up slightly to 2.6 per cent from a prior reading of 2.4 per cent.
  • The jobs data today was good.  Initial jobless claims fell to 359K from 385K last week.  Economists were expecting 375K.  The Bureau of labour Statistics also released its annual benchmark revision which boosted payrolls by 386K.
  • In a note to clients today, Societe Generale strategist Albert Edwards recommended to clients to minimize their exposure to stocks.  “Although I agree that Ben Bernankes ruinous polices will ultimately take us down the road to rapid inflation, I still think we will travel there via another visit of outright deflation fear,” he wrote.  Deflation is bad news for stocks. Deutsche Bank: These Are The 29 Best Stocks Right Now >
  • BlackBerry maker Research In Motion announces earnings after the closing bell. We’ll be covering it LIVE at Business Insider.
  • Don’t Miss: CHARTS: Every Bullish And Bearish Trend In The Stock Market Right Now >

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