US durable goods orders fall 4.4% in October

Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket manufactured goods fell by the largest amount in 15 months with a key category that tracks business investment showing weakness for a third straight month.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that orders for durable goods dropped 4.4 percent last month. It was the third decline in the past four months with the October drop led by a huge decline in the volatile areas of commercial and military aircraft.

A category that serves as a proxy for business investment was flat in October after declines in both August and September. The slowdown has raised the specter that a widening trade war between the United States and China is causing U.S. companies to grow more cautious about committing resources to expand and modernize operations.