It's been a while since we've seen a decent pop in the economic data. But that's what we got just now. February durable goods orders rose
3.4%, far better than expectations for a 2.5% decline
. Strip out transportation orders and you get a 3.9% rise, also better than the -2% forecast. Non-defense capital goods orders ex-aircraft, a key measure of business spending, were up a healthy 11%.
The caveat: The rise comes after a string of horrid readings, including a January decline that was revised down to -7.3% from -5.2%. Stock futures have gained a little ground here, as have gold prices.