U.S. factories saw orders for costly manufactured rise only marginally in November. The Commerce Department reported that orders for durable goods — products expected to last at least three years — increased by just 0.1% last month. The small increase came after durable-goods orders fell by 0.4% in October. Economists were hoping for a larger rebound — of a 2.2% increase — in new orders placed at U.S. factories in November. Still, the November rise did mark the first increase in durable-goods orders in the last four months.
Orders for machinery, computers and electronic products, communications equipment, defense aircraft, and fabricated metal products all posted declines in November. However, those losses were more than offset by gains in demand for electrical equipment and appliances, automobiles, commercial airplanes, and primary metals, including steel. That led to the small rise in overall durable-goods orders in November. (AP)