STOCKS CLOSE DOWN FOR 3RD STRAIGHT DAY: Here's What You Need To Know

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Stocks rallied well off of their lows.  Still, they ended in the red for the third day in a row.

First the scoreboard:

Dow: 15,303, +8.6 pts, +0.0%
S&P 500: 1,649, -0.9 pts, -0.0%
NASDAQ: 3,459, -0.2 pts, -0.0%

And now the top stories:

  • This morning started with a durable goods orders report that blew past expectations. In April, total orders jumped by 3.3%, beating expectations for a 1.5% gain.  This was largely driven by a rebound in commercial aircraft orders.  However, nondefense capital goods orders excluding aircraft — or core capex — climbed by 1.3%, crushing expectations for a modest 0.5% increase.  Core capex is a key measure of business investment.
  • This was welcome news, especially in the wake of a lot of disappointing data earlier this month. "Stronger core durable goods orders suggest that the order pipeline that will drive future investment and inventory growth continues to improve, helping to fuel the transition out of the current soft patch," wrote TD Securities' Gennadiy Goldberg.
  • But the report wasn't all good news. "To calculate GDP, economists look at shipments for non-defense capital good and exclude aircraft," noted Brown Brothers Harriman's Marc Chandler. "This component fell 1.5% after a 0.5% gain in March."
  • Don't Miss: The Incredible Story Of America's Boom, Crash, And Comeback In 99 Maps >
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