Companies decreased their overall orders to U.S. factories in October for the second straight month, evidence that the economy remains weak despite other signs of improvement.
The Commerce Department says total factory orders fell 0.4 percent. September's modest 0.3 percent increase was also revised to show a 0.1 percent drop. Demand for so-called core capital goods, a good proxy for business investment, fell 0.8 percent.
The report both covers durable goods, items expected to last at least three years, and nondurable goods, products such as paper, chemicals and clothing.
Orders for durable goods fell 0.5 percent, reflecting weakness in commercial aircraft and autos. Orders for nondurable goods were down 0.3 percent.