Business News


U.S. stocks started the month of March sharply higher yesterday in a broad-based rally as stocks tied to the economic reopening jumped on vaccine optimism, while tech names rebounded from steep losses last week.

 

U.S. manufacturing expanded in February at the fastest pace in three years and a gauge of materials costs accelerated the most since 2008 as supply shortages challenge the manufacturing industry.  According to the Institute for Supply Management a gauge of factory activity increased to 60.8 from 58.7 a month earlier.   Readings above 50 indicate expansion and the figure exceeded the 58.9 median estimate from economists.

 

U.S. construction spending reached the highest level on record last month as both local and federal governments began loosening the purse strings.  Spending hit a seasonally adjusted rate of $1.5 trillion across all sectors last month, the highest recorded since the Census Bureau began tracking this figure in 2002.  Homebuilding was largely responsible for the surge, but there was also an uptick in public and private non-housing-related construction.

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