U.S. durable goods orders were flat September to October, after surging in September, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. After posting gains the largest month-to-month gain in three years, orders were unchanged month-to-month in October, but rose 1.5 percent with big ticket transportation items excluded from the data. A jump in aircraft orders were behind September\'s spike, which made it predictable that orders would fall back to earth in October. Excluding defense items in October, new orders rose 0.1 percent. Attaching dollars to the data, new orders rose by less than 0.1 percent to $216.9 billion. Machinery provided the biggest gain with a $900 million increase to $30.9 billion. Inventories of durable goods rose by $1.6 billion or 0.4 percent to $374.4 billion. Inventories of transportation equipment rose by $1.2 billion or 1 percent to $113.9 billion. September\'s data was revised slightly lower. New orders rose 9.2 percent month to month, down from 9.4 percent announced in the previous report.