5 Stocks To Buy On Surprising Rise In January Factory Orders

On Mar 13, the Department of Commerce released U.S. factory orders for long-lasting durable goods in January. Although the increase was a modest one in terms of percentage, what is more important is that the consensus estimate was for a contraction of factory orders.

Moreover, core durable goods order – a key metric to track business investment plan – jumped significantly. Against this backdrop, it will be prudent to invest in stocks with a favorable Zacks Rank that are poised to gain from the solid factory orders data.

Solid Durable Goods Data in January

The Department of Commerce reported that new orders for manufactured durable goods rose $0.9 billion or 0.4% to $255.3 billion in January from December. This was the third straight month of growth for durable goods orders. Notably, the consensus estimate for factory orders in January was for a decline of 0.4%.    

More important information from the report is that the core durable goods order (which exclude defense aircraft) jumped 0.8% in January after witnessing a sharp fall in the previous two months. This also reflects the highest monthly gain of core factory orders since July 2018. In January, leading performers were commercial aircraft, networking gear, transportation equipment and machinery segments. 

Implication of Strong Core Durable Goods Data

Economists view the core durable goods order data as business investment plans by U.S. corporates. A significant rise in this metric indicates that the U.S. manufacturing sector, which constitutes around 12% of its GDP, is pushing up capital spending driven by a massive tax overhaul, deregulatory measures and a growing domestic economy.

Industry researchers were highly concerned about future capital spending by the U.S. manufacturing sector due to a stiff rise in interest rate in 2018 and concerns about an impending global economic slowdown. However, core capital goods data for January has indicated that business spending is likely to continue although the pace may decline to some extent.

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