NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Durable goods data is among a handful of economic reports that will be in focus during Wednesday's trading session. Durable goods orders have been trending higher in recent months, up 1.9% and 3% in December and January, respectively. Economists expect that trend to continue, although they are forecasting a 0.5% rise for February. Durable goods orders excluding transportation have been more volatile, as a 2% rise in December was followed by a 0.6% decline in January. This time around, durable goods orders excluding autos should increase 0.5%. The report will be released at 8:30 a.m. EDT. Shortly after the market opens for trading, the Census Bureau will post a separate report on new home sales for February, with economists predicting an increase to 315,000 sales from 309,000 in January. However, since the first-time homebuyers tax credit was extended through April, some market watchers argue any increase in new home sales would be subdued in the months leading up to the deadline. In related news, the Mortgage Bankers Association will release weekly readings on mortgage application and 30-year mortgage rate data. Last week, the MBA said application volume fell by a seasonally adjusted 1.9% while the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate slid to 4.91% for the week ending March 12. On the earnings front, General Mills ( GIS) and Lennar ( LEN) are on tap to deliver quarterly results before the start of trading Wednesday. Meanwhile, Paychex ( PAYX) and Red Hat ( RHT) are among a short list of companies that will open the books on their latest quarter after the close of trading. Market participants will also be watching oil inventory data from the Energy Department. A Bloomberg survey shows that analysts are targeting a rise of 1.43 million barrels in crude stockpiles, which would be the eighth straight week of gains. That would also be the longest stretch since May, Bloomberg notes. Traders will also keep an eye on comments from Kansas City Federal Reserve President Thomas Hoenig, who cast the lone dissenting vote when the Federal Open Market Committee left the fed funds target rate unchanged at the March 16 meeting on interest rates. Hoenig will offer remarks on the financial foundation for Main Street. -- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston. Follow Robert Holmes on Twitter and become a fan of TheStreet.com on Facebook.