U.S. consumers wash, dry clothes - good news for the economy!

A good short hand for investors? "As washing machines and dryers go, so goes the U.S. economy."

With the above in mind, notch one modest, good news data point for the U.S. economy; durable goods unexpectedly rose 3.4% in February, the U.S. Commerce Department announced Wednesday, ending a six-month skid. However, the gain was somewhat offset by a revised decrease in durable goods orders for January to -7.3%, substantially worse than the previously released -4.5%.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected February durable goods orders to fall 2.0%. Durable goods orders decreased 3.0% in December 2008 and 4.0% in November 2008.


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