JOB RECOVERY ENDURES: Factories in the Northeast kept hiring in early March and the number of people applying for unemployment aid fell back to a four-year low. The upbeat reports reinforced the message sent by last week's encouraging job figures for February.

MANUFACTURING IMPROVES: Surveys by Federal Reserve Banks in Philadelphia and New York showed manufacturing grew by the most in nearly a year in those regions. Measures of new orders and shipments declined, a sign growth may slow.

INFLATION TAME: Wholesale inflation stayed mostly tame in February outside higher gas prices.