US DATA: Mar durable goods orders +2.5% for a 3rd gain (Feb rev to
+0.7%); ex transport +1.3% (now up 4 of last 5 mos), ex defense +2.3%
for a strong showing. Boeing Corp reported 98 new orders in Mar vs 21 in
Feb and 34 in Jan, but nondefense aircraft orders were reported just
+0.9%. Transport orders +5.9% as autos +3.7%. Elsewhere there was broad
strength except in computers/elec at -1.1% (as commun eqpt -3.4%) and
fabricated metals -2.3%. Primary metals +3.9%, Machinery +4.2% and
electronics +3.1%. Overall shipments +1.8%, and inventories +1.3%
completes the picture. NDCG shipments +2.1% to finally surpass the Dec
level; still these shipments dropped about 2% in Q1, not a good sign for
capital spending. Overall, though, the report shows strength in mfg.