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Two Ways: Durable Goods Prove Durable


Strengthen your portfolio in good times and bad.

Orders for durable goods -- or big-ticket items meant to last several years -- were better than expected, surprising economists. This may be more evidence that the economy is stabilizing.

The Commerce Department said today that durable goods orders for the month of April increased by 1.9%, the second increase in the last 3 months. Economists were expecting a slight gain of just 0.5%. Data for the month of March was adjusted downward, however, to show a loss of 2.1%. It was previously reported as a decline of 0.8%.

Meanwhile, orders for equipment excluding transportation rose 0.8%. This is against Street expectations for a decline of 0.3%.

In other economic news, the Labor Department said weekly initial jobless claims fell to a seasonally adjusted 623,000, while the number of people continuing to seek unemployment benefits rose to 6.78 million, the largest total since 1967. It's the seventeenth consecutive record-breaking week, according to the Associated Press.

For a view on the economy, see yesterday's Op-Ed: Federal Reserve Still Blowing Bubbles.

From the Bull Pen: If it feels better to be long than short, keep eyeing the S&P 500 resistance points at 910 and 930 (major one) for confirmed breakouts. Missing the bottom is your insurance against making the correct trade.

From the Bear Cave: I continue to believe there are strong headwinds for retailers into the summer months. Coach (COH) may offer a downside opportunity. A buy stop can be set above recent highs ($26.50).

Where's the best place for happy hour in NYC? Send me your suggestions! And have a great night!
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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