It is officially a horrible morning for the economy.

After global manufacturing giant Caterpillar had poor fourth quarter results and gave a gloomy outlook for 2015, economic data from the US has added to more bad news for the economy this morning.

Durable goods orders were a HUGE miss, declining 3.4% against expectations for a 0.3% increase.

Durable goods orders excluding defence and transportation orders, referred to as “core” capex, declined 0.6% in December.

Last month’s numbers were also revised sharply lower, with November’s orders revised down to -2.1% from a prior number of -0.7%.

Following these results, Dow futures were extending their losses, falling as much as 300 points, while S&P 500 futures were down 27 points, and Nasdaq futures were down 66 points.

Expectations were for orders to rise 0.3% in December, up from a 0.7% decline in November.

In a note following the report, Ian Shepherdson at Pantheon Macro said the headline number was depressed by a decline in civilian aircraft orders for the second straight month, but Shepherdson added that, “We cannot reconcile these data with Boeing’s order book,” as Boeing’s orders almost doubled in November and December though the Census’ report showed a 32% decline over the same period.

Shepherdson added that, “With capital goods orders ex-aircraft and defence down 0.6% — the fourth straight decline — the underlying details are very soft,
but we don’t know at this point how much of the drop reflects a plunge in orders from oil companies.”

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