U.S. durable goods orders rose in February, but failed to come up to expectations, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.
New orders rose 2.2 percent in the month to $211.8 billion, putting durable goods orders up for four of the past five months. In January, orders dropped 3.6 percent, the department said, an upward revision from last month's estimate of a 4 percent drop.
For February, transportation orders provided the largest push. After dropping 3.2 percent in January, transportation orders, up for three of the past four months, rose by 3.9 percent or $2.1 billion to $57.9 billion.
Within that sector, commercial aircraft orders provided the push, rising by $1 billion.
However, excluding planes, trains, ships and vehicles, durable goods orders rose 1.6 percent to $153.9 billion.
Orders for machinery rose 5.7 percent to $32.7 billion while orders for computers and electronic products rose 2.7 percent to $24.4 billion.
Although orders rose, the data can be construed as bearish, given the rebound was not as high as economists had expected.
Investors often place their bets based on economic forecasts. That puts them ahead of the game if the forecast is right. But it requires them to adjust their position if the forecasts turn out to be wrong.
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