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Morning Market Roundup: Factory Orders Up, Stocks Mixed, Jet Fuel Shortage in NY?


Here’s what’s important in the business world this morning:

Jet Fuel Shortage: Fears of a jet fuel shortage at New York's airports have led some airlines to take the unusual -- and costly -- step of putting extra fuel on inbound planes.

The worries follow Superstorm Sandy, which has disrupted Northeast fuel supplies and power.

US Airways, Southwest Airlines, and Republic Airlines are among the carriers loading up with extra fuel to allow their planes to fly out again.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airports, says despite the airlines' actions, there is "an adequate supply." It refused to elaborate.

Other airlines, including American Airlines and Spirit Airlines, have chosen not to add extra fuel to inbound flights.

New York's three major airports were closed for several days following Sandy. All had re-opened by Thursday morning.

Factory Orders: U.S. companies boosted their orders for manufactured goods by the largest amount in 18 months in September, but companies remained cautious in ordering goods that signal plans to expand and modernize.

Factory orders rose 4.8 percent in September compared to August, a month when orders had fallen 5.1 percent, the Commerce Department said Friday.

The September gain was the biggest since March 2011 and was driven by a surge in demand for commercial aircraft, a category which had seen orders plunge in August.

Demand for core capital goods, viewed as a good proxy for business investment plans, edged up a slight 0.2 percent in September following a 0.3 percent rise in August. The two gains followed two months of huge declines as business investment remains weak.

Orders for durable goods were up 9.8 percent, a slight downward revision from a preliminary report showing a 9.9 percent increase. Orders for primary metals such as steel rose 3.9 percent while demand for machinery was up 9.2 percent. Orders for nondurable goods rose 1 percent in September following a 2.2 percent gain in August.

Stocks: U.S. stocks were mixed Friday after a report the release of the October jobs report.

In the last big piece of economic news before Tuesday's presidential election, the Labor Department said employers added 171,000 jobs last month, while the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9 percent. More jobs were added in the previous two months than was first reported, the government said.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose as much as 57 points in the first minute of trading, but the gains evaporated quickly.

By 10 a.m., the Dow was down 12 points at 13,220. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose two to 1,429. The Nasdaq composite index fell three points to 3,011.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.76 percent from 1.73 percent late Thursday as demand for ultra-save investments declined.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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