NEW YORK — U.S. stock futures were mixed on data showing that businesses cut back sharply on big-ticket purchases last month.
The report from the Commerce Department Monday followed a report Friday revealing that new home sales tumbled last month.
Dow Jones industrial futures fell 34 points to 14,956. S&P futures gave up 1.2 points to 1,660.20. Nasdaq futures rose 1.75 points to 3,123.
Orders for durable goods plunged 7.3 percent in July, the steepest drop in nearly a year, the government reported. That's almost twice the decline forecast by economists.
Economists tend to exclude volatile transportation orders and if that figure is removed, orders fell just 0.6 percent.
It's the second time in as many trading days that the consensus figures were way off.
The new-home sales numbers may have revealed the chilling effect that higher mortgage rates are having on a hot housing market.
However, many investors in recent months have taken the arrival of bad news as a reason to pour more money into the market.
The theory is that the government will be less likely to ease back on its massive bond-buying program, $85 billion per month, which has kept global markets flush with cash.
Also on Monday, the steel mill servicing company TMS International said it is being acquired by members of the Pritzker family in a cash deal valued at about $1 billion, including debt.