Durable goods sales, consumer confidence up

The Commerce Department yesterday said new orders for durable goods rose 1% last month, marking the second straight month of advances. Also yesterday, the Conference Board released August's Consumer Confidence Index, which beat expectations with an increase of 4.3 points to 81.3. Another report showed that rising mortgage rates took their toll in July as new-home sales fell 2.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.17 million units -- though this still makes it the second-best month in history.

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