US manufacturing activity surged higher in February as production and orders for new business improved significantly, corporate purchasing executives reported. The National Association of Purchasing Management said after a survey of members that its index reversed an eight-month decline, rising 2.9 percentage points to 52.4 percent. .
A global alliance of 13 big-name computer, phone, and electric-utility companies was to unveil plans for a common software method linking consumer and small-business appliances to the Internet. The new Open Service Gateway would incorporate existing and emerging standards, dictating how electronic devices communicate. Among the group's founding members: Alcatel, Ericsson, Lucent Technologies, Motorola, Nortel Networks, IBM, and Oracle.