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Sector Snap: Truck Makers

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of truck makers rose Tuesday on news that commercial truck orders increased in February.

Sterne Agee analyst Jeffrey Kauffman said that while orders remain slightly below his expectations, he expects some improvement in the coming months given that last year's results were hampered by worries about the fiscal cliff and a lower-than-expected spring selling season.

According to ACT Research, which tracks commercial truck sales, overall truck orders rose 4.2 percent from year-ago levels to 23,300 in February, Kauffman said.

For the order season so far, orders for heavy-duty trucks remained down 13 percent from a year ago, but improved from January levels. Sales of medium-duty trucks increased 13 percent in February, helped by the improving housing market, Kaufman said of the ACT data.

The analyst said the continued increase in medium-duty truck sales bodes especially well for Navistar International Corp., which holds the biggest piece of that market.

Truck companies traded higher amid a broad market rally.

— Navistar, up $1.35, or 5.7 percent, to $24.96.

— Oshkosh Corp., up $2.10, or 5.6 percent, to $39.57.

— Paccar Inc., up $1.56, or 3.3 percent, to $48.40.