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Orders for long-lasting manufactured goods dropped sharply in December, dragged lower by a big decline in demand for commercial aircraft. The Commerce Department says orders for durable goods fell 3.4% in December following a 2.1% decline in November. The weakness was led by a 55.5% plunge in the volatile category of commercial aircraft. (CNBC)

Sales of new U.S. homes accelerated strongly in December.  New home sales climbed 11.6% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 481,000. The gains were not enough to offset essentially flat home-buying over the course of 2014. Just 435,000 new homes were bought last year, a modest 1.2% improvement from 2013. (Associated Press)

U.S. consumer confidence shot up in January to the highest level since August 2007. Americans are feeling better about current economic conditions, including the job market. They are also more optimistic about business conditions over the next six months. (Associated Press)

Hillsboro-based Lattice Semiconductor is buying Silicon Image for $600 million. Lattice will pay a nearly 24% premium for the company.  Lattice will have to issue debt to complete the deal. (Oregon Live)
 

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