May U.S. durable goods orders were stronger than expected at a 1.8% increase, for its third gain in four months.

Orders excluding transportation were up 1.1% and ex-military orders rose 1.4%, both representing a second gain in a row.

There were broad gains in categories, with primary metals orders up 0.2%, machinery up 7.7%, computers up 2.2%, and transportation equipment up 3.6% despite an 8.1% drop in motor vehicles and parts. Boeing Corp. had 20 new orders for commercial aircraft, up from 17 in April and adding to the 68.1% jump in nonmilitary aircraft. Exceptions to the strength were a 0.8% drop in communications equipment, and a 1.1% decline in electronics.

Nonmilitary capital goods shipments were off 0.3%, a second drop that suggests business capital spending will be lower in the second quarter. Nonmilitary shipments gained 0.3% excluding aircraft, and nonmilitary orders ex-aircraft were up 4.8% in their best gain since September 2004’s 8.2% rise.

— Market News International

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