Morning Report: A Numbers Roundup

We've got some new numbers out this morning about durable goods and unemployment claims plus profits from Ford.

New orders for durable goods excluding transportation increased 0.9 percent last month. Machinery had the biggest increase of 6 percent or $1.4 billion. Factoring in the drop in transportation, new orders increased 0.3 percent — the first increase since September. Durable goods orders ended 2009 with a drop of 20.2 percent for the year.

Ford announced today that it earned a profit of $2.7 billion in 2009. It's the company's first full-year profit since 2005, and some of its employees will get to share in the bounty. The company has announced profit sharing with 43,000 hourly employees, who could receive on average $450 each.

On the jobs front, the number of people filing for unemployment benefits for the first time fell by 8,000 last week, but the number of claims was still higher than most analysts had expected. The four week average, which smooths out the numbers from week to week, also rose for the second week after falling for 19 straight weeks.

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