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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Report: U.S. services sector on the upswing on new orders, exports

February's growth in the U.S. services sector expanded at its greatest rate in 12 months on new orders and export demand, according to today's report from the Institute of Supply Management.

The ISM reports that its services index in February increased to 56 from 55.2 in January, surpassing economists' predictions of 55. It was the highest level since February 2012. Any reading above 50 indicates growth.

The new orders index surged to 58.2 from 54.4, and orders for exports rose to 60.5, up from January's 55.5, representing the highest reading since May 2007.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average posted gains after the news.

"This was no question a positive number," said Michael Woolfolk, senior currency strategist at BNY Mellon, to Reuters. "It reflects improvement in reinforces the view that the economy continues to improve and should contribute to gains that have driven the stock market to a new record."

Issued last week, the ISM manufacturing sector report indicated U.S. factories grew at their fastest rate in 20 months in February 2013.

For more of the Reuters story:

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