The surprisingly large expansion of U.S. gross domestic product in the fourth quarter of last year turned out to be even stronger than initially thought, with the Commerce Department revising the figure upwards from 5.7 percent to 5.9 percent, according to Bloomberg. The initial report released last month beat growth forecasts from economists, and the revision surprised markets again, led by inventory restocking and the fastest pace of investment in software and equipment in nearly 10 years.

The final review of fourth quarter growth data will be in March after the government collects more information, such as corporate profits. Despite the strong growth, the economy still shrank 2.4 percent for 2009 as a whole, the largest contraction since 1946.

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