Even with the declines, factory orders are well above their recession lows.
Already hobbled by Europe's debt crisis, the world now risks being hurt by slowdowns in its economic powerhouses.
Orders to U.S. factories are expected to show a small gain in April following a big decline in March.
Many of the biggest carmakers reported double-digit sales gains last month compared with a year earlier.
Japan says its industrial production inched up 0.2 percent in April from March for a second monthly gain amid a fragile recovery.
Coleman Cable, Inc. announced it completed the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Watteredge, Inc. in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $35.0 million.
Chrysler's U.S. sales jumped 30 percent last month, a sign that Americans remain determined to replace their aging cars despite the falling stock market and shaky consumer confidence.
The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 1.9 percent in the first three months of the year, slower than first estimated.
More than 60 percent of respondents to a recent Tompkins Supply Chain Consortium survey say manufacturing is still on the rise in China.
Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd. posted a first-quarter loss as plunging solar prices slashed revenues even though it shipped a record number of modules.
China is rolling out a mini-stimulus to fight its economic slump but is moving cautiously after its massive response to the 2008 global crisis left a painful hangover of inflation and debt.
China's Cabinet said it has approved plans to promote development of seven emerging industries including clean energy as it tries to restructure the economy and boost growth.
RIM issued a dire warning about its business Tuesday, saying it is losing money for the second-consecutive quarter and will have to lay off a "significant" number of employees.
Recent signs that an economic slowdown is spreading beyond Europe to fast-growing countries like China has raised fears that U.S. companies could pull back on hiring as demand weakens for their products.
March quarter profits at India's Tata Motors more than doubled to $1.1B on strong demand for Jaguar Land Rover vehicles, particularly in China, the company said.
Pump and valve maker Colfax Corp. is buying welding products supplier Soldex SA from Inversiones Breca SA, giving it a larger foothold in South America.
Americans still love riding high above the ground in their vehicles but have been opting for smaller sport utility vehicles to save on gasoline costs.
Toyota is looking to emerging markets for growth, targeting 50 percent of its global vehicle sales in such countries by 2015, and rolling out eight compact models over the next few years.
The first Dodge Darts to come out of a revitalized Chrysler plant in Illinois were shipped off to dealers this week, setting the stage for what Marchionne called the automaker's "real battle" in the compact market.
Toyota said its cumulative sales of the Etios series surpassed 100,000 units in India, with the relatively low-priced vehicles gaining popularity in the major emerging market.
The number of people seeking unemployment benefits changed little last week, signaling modest job growth.
Chinese solar module maker Trina Solar Ltd. on Wednesday reported a loss for its fiscal first quarter as prices for modules fell.
Fitch said Eaton will take on around $5.1B in long-term debt as part of the acquisition, and it will assume $1.4B in outstanding debt held by Cooper.
Suntech Power Holdings Co. lost money in its first quarter as shipments and prices for its solar panels fell.