Factory orders rose 0.4% in July, marking the second month of gains after a strong June, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. June's figures were upwardly revised to show a 2.2% gain from a previously reported 1.8% rise. The gain in July's factory orders was led by a 5.5% jump in transportation equipment, while orders for manufactured nondurable goods fell 1.3%. Other highlights: defense communication equipment orders jumped 25.5% and ship and boat orders rose 19.5%, while defense aircraft and parts slumped 13.1% and computer orders fell 10.6%.
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