Retail investors are throwing a party today, as durable-goods orders are up in May for the second straight month.

The good news offset disappointing home sales numbers, resulting in some nice gains for


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The Commerce Department announced on Wednesday that demand for durable goods rose 1.8% in May, far exceeding the .6% decline expected by economists.

Orders for non-defense capital goods, a gauge for business investment plans, jumped 4.8%, the biggest gain since September 2004. That could signal that businesses have stopped trimming their investment spending.

The strongest orders came from airplanes and machinery, which offset weakness in the troubled auto sector. Excluding transportation, orders for durable goods increased 1.1% in May.

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