The U.S. Department of Commerce reported Friday morning that durable goods orders for November rose by 0.8% compared to the prior month to $250.8 billion. The October total was revised downward by 4.3% to $248.9 billion.
Excluding transportation, new orders dropped by 0.3% and excluding defense new orders were down 0.1%. Transportation equipment orders, primarily for airplanes, rose 2.9% to $87 billion.
Economists were looking for a month-over-month increase of 1.4% and a gain of 0.3% excluding transportation. Neither estimate was met.
Aircraft orders, both civilian and defense, rose 17.7% for commercial planes and 15.4% for military aircraft. Orders for primary metals rose 1.0%, fabrications were up 0.5% and communications equipment added 0.8% for the month.
The good news pretty much ends there. Orders were weak for electrical equipment (down 0.7%), unchanged for computers and down 0.2% for motor vehicles. The biggest disappointment was machinery orders, the heart of the capital goods group. That tumbled by 1.7%.
New orders in non-defense capital goods (aka, core capital goods) rose 0.7%, including aircraft, and fell 0.6% excluding aircraft orders. Shipments of core capital goods fell 0.1% in November.
Stock futures pushed higher after both the durable goods and final third-quarter GDP reports were released, but investors continue to be wary of an impending government shutdown.