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With four trading days left in the first quarter the Dow is slightly positive to for the year, the S&P 500 is slight negative and the Nasdaq is off nearly 4.7% in 2016. (CNBC)
 
The Commerce Department says orders for durable goods, items meant to last three years or more, declined 2.8% in February.  Manufacturing, accounts for 12% of the U.S. economy and has been hammered by the dollar's strength, weak global demand and capital spending cuts by oilfield service firms.
 
U.S. economic growth slowed in the fourth quarter, but not as sharply as previously estimated. Gross domestic product increased at a 1.4% annual rate. Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two thirds of U.S. economic activity, rose at a 2.4% pace. With the dollar's appreciation slowing since the start of 2016 and the oil price stabilizing, corporate profits are poised to rise, helping GDP growth. (Reuters)
 
Business economists are more pessimistic, predicting weaker growth in corporate profits and the economy than they were late last year, according to a new survey from the National Association for Business Economics. (AP)
 
Oil is up 40 cents at $39.85 a barrel.
 
Gold is down $2 at $1219 a Troy ounce.
 

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