Orders for Big-Ticket Goods Drop

Orders to factories for big-ticket manufactured goods fell in October for a third straight month.

The Commerce Department says orders for durable goods declined four-tenths of a percent, a weaker showing than expected.

The October decline followed even bigger decreases of 1.4 percent in September and 5.3 percent in August. That's the longest stretch of weakness in nearly four years.

Many economists believe growth has slowed dramatically in the current quarter from the combined blows of the most severe housing slump in more than two decades, a serious credit crunch and rising energy prices.

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