ORDERS UP: U.S. orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rose 3.6 percent in May. Much of the increase reflected a surge in commercial aircraft orders. Still, businesses also ordered more computers, communications equipment and machinery.
MORE INVESTMENT: A category of orders that's viewed as a proxy for business investment plans – which excludes the volatile sectors of transportation and defense – increased 1.1 percent. That matched similar gains in April and March. This category hadn't risen for three straight months since 2011.
OUTLOOK: Stronger business investment raised hopes that manufacturing could pick up in the second half of this year.