FEBRUARY SALES: U.S. auto sales rose 4 percent in February even as buyers were hit with higher taxes, rising gas prices and political dysfunction in Washington. The pace has slowed a bit from last year, but the need to replace aging cars and trucks is still outweighing other concerns.
WHAT'S SELLING: Pickup trucks like the Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-Series and Toyota Tundra saw double-digit gains in February. That's a sign businesses are getting more confident.
WHAT'S NEXT: Analysts say automatic government budget cuts aren't likely to hurt sales until later this year, if at all.