DURABLE GOODS ORDERS FALL: Orders for long-lasting U.S. factory goods fell in March by the most in seven months, dragged lower by a sharp drop in commercial aircraft demand and defense equipment.
SMALL RISE IN BUSINESS INVESTMENT: So-called core capital goods orders, which include industrial machinery and computers, ticked up only 0.2 percent. Economists pay close attention to these orders because they are a good measure of companies' investment plans.
SLOWER GROWTH: Weaker economies overseas and the impact of across-the-board government spending cuts have made businesses more cautious. That's reduced demand for manufactured goods.