Factory Orders (Dec) Actual -3.9%, Expected -3.1%, Previous -6.5% (Revised from -4.6%)

Release Explanation: The value of new orders placed with manufacturers in an economic region for both durable and non-durable goods. Shows the sentiment of the manufacturing side of the economy. GDP, Durable Goods reports are affected. A currency will eventually be affected by these numbers, but only once they filter through to the main releases.

Trade Desk Thoughts: New orders at the nation's factories declined 3.9% in December, a fifth consecutive monthly decrease, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today. This is the longest streak of consecutive monthly decreases since the series was first published in 1992 and follows the 6.5% November decrease, which was revised downwards from the 4.6% decline originally reported.

The sharp decreases over the previous five months mirror the worsening slowdown in U.S. output, said Matthew Carniol, chief currency strategist at TheLFB-forx.com. As with nearly all economic indicators, expect to see trends weaken at least through the first quarter of the year.

For all of 2008, orders for factory goods rose just 0.4%.

Excluding transportation, orders fell 4.4% in December after a 6% drop a month earlier.

Overall shipments, which are also down five consecutive months, decreased by 2.9% in December. This is the longest streak of consecutive monthly decreases since March-July 1998 and follows a 6.5% November decrease. The inventories-to-shipments ratio rose to 1.44 from 1.42 in November.

New order for durable goods, those designed to last three years or longer, fell 3.0% after declining by 4.2% in November. Shipments of durable goods have now fallen for five straight months. Shipments of non-durable goods fell 4.8% after declining by 8.7% in November, also a fifth straight monthly decline.

Bookings for capital goods excluding aircraft and military equipment, a measure of future business investment (CAPEX), fell 3.2% after November's 1.1% gain. Shipments of those goods, used by the government when calculating GDP, increased by 0.6% after decreasing 1.3% in November.

Forex Technical Reaction: Stocks are basically treading water in the early going with a 1% loss on the day, and the currency markets have been similarly range-bound.