​Factory orders for June post a steep fall

WASHINGTON - Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting manufactured goods fell in June by the largest amount in nearly two years, reflecting a big decline in the volatile category of commercial aircraft. The key category that tracks business investment managed a small gain.

The Commerce Department says demand for durable goods dropped 4 percent in June, the biggest setback since an 18.4 percent drop in August 2014.

The new report indicates that U.S. manufacturing remains under stress from weak global demand and a strong dollar.

June's result was led by a 58.8 percent plunge in orders for commercial aircraft. However, outside of transportation, orders were down 0.5 percent.

Demand in a closely watched category that serves as a proxy for business investment plans edged up a slight 0.2 percent after two months of declines.