Jobless claims soar, durable orders tank
Meanwhile, December's reading was also revised sharply lower, to -4.6% from -2.6%. Orders ex-transportation fell 2.5%, worse than the 2.2% expectation. And nondefense capital goods orders, excluding aircraft (a key measure of core business spending), plunged 5.4% after a 5.8% decline in the prior month.
And what about the job market? Ugh. Initial jobless claims soared to 667,000 in the week of February 21 from 631,000 a week earlier. That was well above the 625,000 forecast and the highest going all the way back to 1982. Continuing claims set a fresh record of 5.112 million, up from 4.998 in the previous week.