U.S. Business: Durables: Solid

One of the most important auguries for the future is that new orders for durable goods have risen two months in a row. This means that prospects for machine-tool builders and for the makers of primary metals—particularly steel—are better than at any time this year.

Orders for primary metals were up 10% in October, and most of this was because steel companies are finally beginning to receive substantial calls for more supplies from the booming automakers. But steelmakers have taken such a beating all year that they are afraid to take too much heart...

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