CLEVELAND (Jan. 5)—Orders for Parker Hannifin Corp.´s North American Industrial segment dropped 9 percent in December, compared to a 25-percent surge last year, the company reported. Company Chairman and CEO Duane Collins noted that Parker historically has experienced a domestic downturn whenever the prime rate rises above 9 percent. The company praised the Fed´s Jan. 3 interest rate cut, noting the correlation with its order rates. "Like others, we not only applaud the Fed´s action," the firm said in a prepared statement, "we expect it to begin to mitigate the recessionary effect." Orders for Parker´s Rest-of-World segment increased 23 percent, up 1 percent from December 1999; while Parker Aerospace reported a 13-percent jump, compared to a 6-percent increase last year.