SUMMER BREAK?: Orders to U.S. factories fell 2.4 percent in July, the sharpest decline in four months, held back by weaker demand for commercial aircraft and heavy machinery. Excluding the volatile transportation category, factory goods orders were up 1.2 percent, however.
BEACH TIME?: A key category that reflects business investment plans also fell. Orders for core capital goods fell 4 percent in July. Core capital goods include items that point to expansion — such as machinery, computers and heavy trucks.
DEEPER MEANING?: The drop in core capital goods orders suggests the third quarter is off to a weaker start than some had hoped. Economists cautioned that it's just one month of data.