Some bad durable goods orders data gave markets a scare. But the sentiment readings sent the bears running.
First, the scoreboard:
Dow: 13,005.1, +23.6, +0.1%
S&P 500: 1,372.1, +4.5, +0.3%
NASDAQ: 2,986.7, +20.6, +0.6%
And now, the top stories:
- So, this morning’s durable goods report got the bears excited, but only briefly. In January, durable goods orders unexpectedly fell 4.0 per cent to $206.1 billion. Economists were expecting the metric to fall by only 1.0 per cent. This was the worst monthly decline in three years. Excluding transportation, orders fell 3.2 per cent, which also fell short of economists expectation for no change. Computer and related electronic products saw surprising weakness, falling 10.1 per cent month-on-month. Click Here For The Best And Worst Economists Of 2011 >
- According to the Case-Shiller index, home prices fell 0.5 per cent in December, which was worse than the 0.4 per cent expected by economists. For the full year, prices fell 4.0 per cent. Detroit was the only market reporting a gain during the year, climbing 0.5 per cent. So, are we witnessing a triple dip? Robert Reich calls housing the rotting core of the recovery >
- Consumer confidence surged to 70.8 in February, smashing economists’ expectation for a modest increase to 63.0. This was the highest reading since February of 2011. “And, despite further increases in gas prices, [consumers] are more optimistic about the short-term outlook for the economy, job prospects, and their financial situation,” wrote the Conference Board’s Lynn Franco.
- Another big bullish read on the economy came from the Richmond Fed. The region’s manufacturing activity index jumped to 20, crushing economists’ expectations for a more modest increase to 14. GOLDMAN: Here’s What The Biggest Industrial Companies Are Telling Us About The Economy >
- Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny reportedly said Ireland would have a referendum to ratify the European fiscal compact. The Next 8 Most Nerve-Wracking Dates In Europe >
- And it’s official. Apple will unveil its iPad 3 on March 7 in San Francisco. So, go ahead and throw out your iPad 1 or 2.
- Anyway, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 13,000 for the first time since May 19, 2008. What’s next? 12,000 or 14,000.
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