Bloomberg News

U.S. Stock Futures Trim Gains After Durable Goods Orders Slump

February 28, 2012

Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock-index futures trimmed gains after orders for durable goods dropped more than forecast, damping confidence in the economy.

Futures on the S&P 500 expiring in March rose 0.1 percent to 1,369.2 at 8:30 a.m. in New York after climbing as much as 0.5 percent earlier. The index yesterday jumped to its highest level since June 2008 following better-than-forecast growth in pending home sales.

Bookings for goods meant to last at least three years slumped 4 percent, four times more than forecast, after a revised 3.2 percent gain the prior month, data from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. Economists projected a 1 percent decline, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey.

The S&P 500 has increased 4.2 percent in February and is heading for a third straight month of gains amid better-than- estimated economic and corporate reports. The gauge trades at about 14.1 times reported earnings, compared with the average since 1954 of 16.4 times, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The Conference Board’s gauge of consumer confidence is due at 10 a.m. in New York. The measure climbed to 63 this month from 61.1 in January, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael P. Regan at mregan12@bloomberg.net


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