manufacturing sector

Economy Grew Modest 2.8% in Q4, Best in 2011

The U.S. economy grew at a 2.8 percent annual rate in the final three months of last year, the fastest growth in 2011. Americans spent more on cars and trucks, and companies restocked their shelves at the strongest pace in nearly two years. But growth in the October-December quarter -- and all of last year -- was held back by the biggest annual government spending cuts in four decades.

Are Investors Ignoring All the Good News?

With all the tragedy dominating the news these days, it's easy to be pessimistic. But the cold, hard facts about the economy actually paint a more optimistic picture.

Ford's Sales Climb 14% on Explorers, Fuel-Efficient Models

Ford reported Tuesday that its sales in February rose 14% compared to a year ago, in part due to strong sales of the revamped Ford Explorer sports-utility vehicle, the Fusion midsized sedan and the Ford Escape compact SUV. Total sales for the month hit 156,626.

Ford to Add 1,800 Jobs in Kentucky for Escape SUV

Ford plans to invest $600 million in a Kentucky plant to build the next-generation Escape SUV, creating an 1,800 additional jobs, the automaker said Thursday. The new jobs will be added incrementally after the Louisville Assembly plant is rehabbed and reopened late next year.

Philly Fed Index Hits a High
for This Year

Manufacturing activity in the mid-Atlantic region unexpectedly surged in November, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia reported Thursday. The Philly Fed's Business Outlook Survey index jumped to 22.5 in November from 1 in October, it's highest reading since December 2009.

U.S. Factories Keep Humming: Orders Rose 2.1% in September

Investors got more evidence today that the manufacturing sector expansion continued into late summer/early fall. The key ex-transportation component also came in higher, at 0.4%. And the ex-defense number rose 1.9%. A solid month overall.

What's Reviving Investors' Hunger for Stocks

Far-sighted investors are starting to see that the broader economic picture: a robust global rebound in manufacturing and impressive corporate earnings. These strong fundamentals are finally overcoming risk aversion -- and could set the stage for an equity rally.

Philly Fed Index Shows Manufacturing Growing Slightly

Manufacturing activity in the mid-Atlantic region showed modest improvement in October, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, which saw its Business Outlook Survey rise to 1.0. However, despite that return to positive territory overall, key index components continued to reveal economic softness.

A Strong Surprise for August Durable Goods Orders

August's 1.3% drop in durable goods orders looks bad. But the real story is that the more-telling component that excludes volatile transportation orders rose 2%, doubling a Bloomberg survey's consensus estimate. So far, Wall Street is reacting ecstatically.

German Exports Declined in July

German exports fell in July, suggesting that Europe%u2019s largest economy may be slowing after record growth in the second quarter. Exports, adjusted for working days and seasonal changes, fell 1.5% from June, Bloomberg News reported. A survey of economists by Bloomberg News had forecast unchanged exports.

BMW Aims to Boost Sales to 2 Million Units a Year

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG aims to boost sales to more than 2 million a year by 2020 by widening the 6-series and Mini model lines as well as bringing in a battery-powered car for city driving. BMW, which sold 1.29 million cars last year, is trying to fend off competition in the luxury car segment from Volkswagen (VLKAY) and Audi, Bloomberg News reported.

GM Recalls 243,403 Vehicles for Safety Belt Buckle Problem

General Motors is recalling 243,403 vehicles because of a potential safety problem where safety belts could appear to be properly latched when they are not. The recall affects 2009-2010 models of the Chevrolet Traverse, Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook, GM said today in a statement. Most of the vehicles are in the United States, with several thousand exported vehicles in countries such as Canada and Mexico also affected.