Stocks Held Back by Plunge in Factory Orders 8/26/13
NEW YORK - The stock market is inching higher in early trading as a plunge in factory orders last month made investors cautious.
Orders for long-lasting U.S. factory goods fell sharply last month as demand for commercial aircraft plummeted and businesses spent less on computers and electrical equipment.
The Commerce Department says orders for durable goods plunged 7.3 percent in July, the steepest drop in nearly a year. Excluding the volatile transportation category, orders fell just 0.6 percent. Both declines came after three straight increases.
The figures suggest manufacturing growth remains sluggish after a weak start this year.