TURNAROUND IN ORDERS: U.S. companies boosted their orders for manufactured goods by 4.8 percent in September, the largest amount in 18 months. That was a reversal from a 5.1 percent decline in August.
THE DETAILS: The September gain was driven by a surge in demand for commercial aircraft, a volatile category which had seen orders plunge in August, the Commerce Department reported on Friday.
STILL CAUTIOUS: But companies remained cautious in ordering goods that signal plans to expand and modernize. Demand for core capital goods, viewed as a good proxy for business investment plans, edged up a slight 0.2 percent in September following a 0.3 percent rise in August. Those modest gains followed two months of huge declines as business investment remains weak.