Investors were also disappointed Wednesday by a survey of Chicago-area purchasing managers that showed U.S. business activity continued to expand in March, but at a slower pace than the previous month. The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago said its business barometer slipped to 58.8 in March, from a nearly five-year high of 62.6 in February. Economists expected a reading of 60.8.
Still, Croft noted that a reading above 50 still reflects expansion. "We think the economy is marching forward here, but not at an extremely fast pace," he said.