Orders for goods produced in
U.S. factories rose 1.8 percent in December, according to the U.S. Commerce
reported. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch expected orders to increase by 2.3
percent, largely because of higher orders for commercial and military aircraft.
Orders for durable goods - products meant to last at least three years -
advanced 4.3 percent. Orders for nondurable goods, such as food and clothing,
dropped 0.3 percent.