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US markets end higher on upbeat economic data

The US markets ended Wednesday's trading session in positive territory, with gains of over half percent, as investors parsed economic data that included stronger-than-expected durable goods orders.  New orders for US durable goods unexpectedly increased in the month of January, according to a report released by the Commerce Department. The report said durable goods orders climbed by 0.4% in January after spiking by an upwardly revised 1.3% in December. Street had expected durable goods orders to drop by 0.5% compared to the 1.2% jump originally reported for the previous month. The unexpected increase in durable goods orders was largely due to a continued surge in orders for transportation equipment, which jumped by 1.2% in January after surging up by 3.1% in December. Orders for non-defense aircraft and parts led the way higher once again, soaring by 15.9% in January after spiking by 35.7% in December.

Meanwhile, reflecting a spike in spending on public construction, the Commerce Department released a report showing US construction spending jumped much more than expected in the month of January. The report said construction spending surged up by 1.3% to an annual rate of $1.280 trillion in January after falling by 0.8% to a revised rate of $1.263 billion in December. Street had expected construction spending to rise by 0.4% compared to the 0.6 drop originally reported for the previous month. Besides, Trump said that he is not in a hurry to hammer out a trade deal with China and that Chinese President Xi Jinping knows that the US can walk away from bilateral talks if an agreement is not reached.

Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 148.23 points or 0.58 percent to 25702.89, Nasdaq gained 52.37 points or 0.69 percent to 7643.40 and S&P 500 was up by 19.40 points or 0.69 percent to 2810.92. 

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