U.S. stocks mixed upon factory orders, pending home data

08:29, January 06, 2010      

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The U.S. stocks traded mixed on Tuesday as investors weighed the positive data on factory orders against a plunge in pending home sales.

The Commerce Department said factory orders in the United States rose in November more than twice as much as anticipated, led by gains in demand for business equipment, showing companies are boosting spending and production.

New orders for manufactured goods to U.S. factories rose by 1.1percent in November, the seventh increase in eight months, according to the report.

The 1.1-percent gain is much better than the 0.5-percent increase that economists had been expecting. Factory orders in November was recorded at a seasonally adjusted 365.3 billion U.S. dollars.

Orders for durable goods, big-ticket items expected to last at least three years, such as computers, cars and machinery, rose by 0.2 percent in November.

Economists believe the report provided further evidence that the manufacture sector is bouncing back from the worst recession since the Great Depression in the 1930s.

However, the index of pending home sales, or signed purchase agreements, plunged 16 percent in November, the first drop in 10 months, as Americans waited for a first-time buyer tax credit to be extended, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors.

The drop was much larger than what economists had expected, indicating housing may be at risk of weakening when homebuyer incentives, which were extended in November, expire later this year.

Shares of Ford Motor Company rose more than 6 percent to 10.96 dollars after the car maker posted a 33-percent sales gain for December. The Ford sales surge included all categories of its cars and trucks, and ran beyond the expectations of analysts.

The Dow Jones fell 11.94, or 0.11 percent, to 10,572.02. The Standard & Poor's 500 index added 3.53, or 0.31 percent, to 1,136.52 and the Nasdaq was up 0.29, or 0.01 percent, to 2,308.71.

U.S. stocks rallied on Monday to start the new trading year, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average soaring more than 150 points and all indexes rising more than 1.5 percent, boosted by renewed optimism on economic recovery.

Source: Xinhua
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