WASHINGTON — U.S. durable goods orders were exceedingly soft in October, possibly a signal of recession. Orders were down 0.4% in their third consecutive monthly drop. Excluding transportation, orders were off 0.7%, and excluding defense orders fell 0.9%, showing widespread weakness. Each of the latter two categories fell in two of the last three months, also confirming manufacturing slack. Boeing Co. reported 56 new orders, down from 132 in September, so it was no surprise that nondefense aircraft printed down 5.2%. But the breakdown away from aircraft was troubling.— Market News International

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