Latest factory, building data is a mixed bag


A mixed bag concerning two key economic data points released Wednesday -- one showing continued problems in the nation's beleaguered manufacturing sector, the other a smaller-than-expected decline in construction spending.

First, the Institute for Supply Management announced that its manufacturing index increased slightly to 36.3 percent in March from 35.8 percent in February, in-line with the Bloomberg News survey estimate, but still at a level indicative of a pronounced contraction.