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Factory orders drop again in November

(AP) Orders to U.S. factories fell for a fourth straight month in November, with demand in a key category that signals business investment plans down for a third month. The Commerce Department said Tuesday factory orders dropped 0.7 percent in November after a similar 0.7 percent fall in October. The November weakness came from decreases in demand for primary metals, industrial machinery and military aircraft. A closely watched category that serves as a proxy for business investment spending dropped 0.5 percent in November, marking the longest stretch of weakness in this category since 2012. Demand for durable goods, items expected to last at least three years, fell 0.9 percent in November, the third drop in the past four months. Demand for nondurable goods such as petroleum, chemicals and paper declined 0.5 percent.