In new signs that the recession may be ebbing, orders for big-ticket manufactured goods rose by 1.9 percent and the number of new jobless claims fell, although the number continuing to receive unemployment remained at the highest level since 1967.

Feb 24

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A private research group announced Tuesday that consumer confidence sank to a record low in February. Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke told Congress the U.S. economy is suffering a "severe contraction."…