News Summary: US factory orders rose in October

News Summary: US factory orders rose 0.8 pct in October, helped by gain in investment goods

Associated Press
News Summary: US factory orders rose in October
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In this Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, photo, employees work at a shipping area of Generac Power Systems, Inc., in Whitewater, Wis., Friday, Nov. 16, 2012. Orders to U.S. factories rose modestly in October, helped by a big gain in demand for equipment that reflects business investment plans. Factory orders edged up 0.8 percent in October, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That compared to September when orders had jumped 4.5 percent. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

MODEST GAIN: Orders to U.S. factories rose 0.2 percent in October, helped by a 2.9 percent gain in demand for equipment that reflects business investment plans. The overall October rise slowed from a 4.5 percent jump in September.

THE DETAILS: The big rise in orders for core capital goods, the category viewed as a good proxy for business investment plans, was the biggest increase in eight months.

THE BACKGROUND: Businesses have been holding back on investment plans because they are worried about the "fiscal cliff," the combination of sharp tax increases and federal spending cuts that will take effect in January if Congress and the Obama administration fail to agree on a budget deal. Slower growth overseas and Europe's debt crisis have hurt U.S. exports.

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