The Commerce Department announced Wednesday that orders for durable goods dropped by 4.9% in August. The number was worse than economists' forecasts of a decline of 3.1%, showing that business spending fell greater than expected during last month's financial turmoil. Excluding transportation, orders were down 1.8%. In July, durables actually advanced 5.9%; August's decline was the first since May. Though the numbers disappointed, the markets shrugged them off as futures were virtually unchanged after the release. "These data capture little, if any, of the impact of the market turmoil," explained Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at High Frequency Economics. He said traders ignored the number because it will have very little effect on future Fed decisions.
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