FACTORY ORDERS FALL: Demand for U.S. factory goods dropped in March by the most in three years, driven lower by a sharp fall in volatile orders for commercial aircraft. Orders dropped 1.5 percent, the Commerce Department said.

MAY BE TEMPORARY: Other recent data suggest the decline may be temporary and factory output should rise in the coming months. A private survey Tuesday found that the manufacturing sector expanded at the fastest pace in 10 months in April.

TAX CREDIT: The expiration of an investment tax credit at the end of last year may have briefly slowed factory orders, economists say. Orders jumped before the expiration.