Shares of industrial and transportation companies rose as investors shrugged off weak data in the sector, betting that monetary stimulus and putative trade and Brexit deals would forestall a deeper slowdown.
Manufacturing output, the biggest component of industrial production, fell 0.5% in September from a month earlier, the Federal Reserve said Thursday. Production at factories was in part dragged down by a strike at General Motors, but there were also signs of broader trade-war related impacts.
Manufacturing activity in the broader Philadelphia area expanded more slowly this month, with an index falling to 5.6 from 6 in September, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey. In another sign of slowing industrial activity, freight railroad Union Pacific said it would lay off workers in response to weakening demand. Union Pacific and rival CSX said they are intensifying focus on precision timing as competition mounts and volumes shrink.
Conglomerate Honeywell International saw shares rise despite logging softer-than-expected sales growth.
The Pentagon awarded Raytheon a contract valued by analysts at up to $5 billion to build a new radar for the Patriot missile defense system, concluding one of the year's most closely watched weapons contests.
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