The Associated Press
KEY INDICATOR RISES: U.S. companies increased their orders of machinery and equipment that signal investment plans by 1.7 percent in October, the largest amount in five months.
THE DETAILS: It was the biggest rise in orders for core capital goods since a 2.3 percent rise in May. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that total orders for durable goods were unchanged in October as demand for machinery, primary metals and communications equipment increased while orders for autos, airplanes and computers fell.
THE OUTLOOK: Economists viewed the rebound in orders in the business investment category as encouraging but said that business will remain cautious until Congress and the Obama administration reach a budget deal to avert the combination of tax increases and federal spending cuts set to take effect in January.