Durable-Goods Orders Rise in January
Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket durable goods came roaring back in January after two months of decline. Spurred by a 14.9% surge in orders for electronic goods such as communications equipment and semiconductors, overall orders jumped 3.6% last month after declines of 1.8% in December and 1.7% in November, the Commerce Department said. It was more than double the 1.4% gain many economists expected, and the advance for nonmilitary goods--5%--was the best since February 1993. Meanwhile, the Labor Department reported that new applications for unemployment insurance rose 11,000 last week to 316,000, well within the range analysts say signals a strong labor market.