This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

US Factory Orders Up 3 Percent In February

By MARTIN CRUTSINGER

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ Orders to U.S. factories rose sharply in February from January on a surge in volatile demand for commercial aircraft. The gain offset a drop in key orders that signal business investment.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that factory orders increased 3 percent in February. That's up from a 1 percent decline in January and the biggest gain in five months.

The increase was due mostly to a jump in orders for commercial aircraft. Those orders rose 95.1 percent. Orders for motor vehicles and parts also increased 1.4 percent.

Orders for all durable goods, which are products expected to last at least three years, jumped 5.6 percent. Orders for nondurable goods, such as processed food and clothing, rose 0.8 percent.

Despite the gains, the report showed that a key measure of business investment plans fell. That could mean that some companies were worried in February about steep federal spending cuts that started on March. 1.

Core capital goods, which include machinery and equipment orders, fell 3.2 percent. Demand for construction machinery, turbines and generators all fell sharply. Orders for computers and electronic products rose slightly.

Economists closely watch these orders because they signal business investment plans.

Still, the decline followed a 6.7 percent surge in January, the largest in nearly three years. Analysts said that when averaging the two months, business investment orders showed a solid increase for the January-March quarter. Many expect the gains to resume this spring, helped by a stronger job market that has kept consumers spending.

Consumers stepped up spending in February after their income jumped. The gain occurred even after Social Security taxes increased in January, reducing take-home pay for most Americans.

Many economists raised their growth forecasts after the report was released. Some are predicting growth could increase to around 3 percent in the January-March quarter, up from 0.4 percent in the previous three months.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,943.81 +28.74 0.17%
S&P 500 1,967.57 +2.89 0.15%
NASDAQ 4,415.49 +19.2860 0.44%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs