Monthly sales of existing homes fell for the third straight month and came in below expectations, signaling a further cooling in the housing market. Weekly jobless claims fell during the week of February 16; however, the four-week moving average rose by 4,000 claims, suggesting a potential shift in long-term labor market trends. Lastly, durable goods orders were up in December on the back of a surge in commercial aircraft orders. However, when adjusting for defense and aircraft orders, durable goods orders fell 0.7% in the month.
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