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Factories Now Leading Economy
1Oct. durable goods orders surged 3.3%, the best since July '02. Year over year, orders rose 10.5%, the highest since June '00, with computer and electronics orders and capital goods surging. Durable inventories rose for the 1st time since Feb. '01. A separate report said Midwest factories expanded in Nov. at the fastest pace since Feb. '95, but they still cut jobs. More on this page, A2
Jobless Claims Fall To 351,000
2New claims dropped 11,000 in the week ended Nov. 22 to their lowest level since Jan. '01. The four-week average fell for a 5th straight week, down 10,000 to 358,750, the lowest since Feb. '01. Continuing …