U.S. factory activity index eases off 13-1/2-year high

A measure of U.S. factory activity retreated from a 13-1/2-year high in October as the boost from hurricane-related supply disruptions faded, but continued to point to strengthening manufacturing conditions. Other data on Wednesday showed a surge in private sector hiring, indicating that job growth rebounded last month after being depressed in September as hurricanes Harvey and Irma left some workers temporarily unemployed.

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