Research firm Markit Economics said the U.S. Purchasing Managers' Index moved slightly lower to 51.3 in October from September's 51.5.
In contrast, the HSBC flash PMI estimate for China rose from 47.9 to 49.1. That left the index improved, but still negative, as numbers below 50 indicate contraction.
Stock markets in Asia were mixed.
By close of trading, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 25.19 points, 0.19 percent, to 13,077.34. The Nasdaq composite index lost 8.77 points, or 0.29 percent, to 2,981.70. The Standard and Poor's 500 index shed 4.36 points, 0.31 percent, to 1,408.75.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 1,323 stocks advanced and 1,665 declined on a volume of 3.3 billion shares traded.
The benchmark 10-year treasury note was yielding 1.7922 percent.
The euro fell to $1.297 from Tuesday's $1.2985. Against the yen, the dollar fell to 79.84 yen from 79.85 yen.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index shed 0.67 percent, 59.95 points, to 8,954.30.
In London, the FTSE 100 index rose 0.12 percent, 6.87 points, to 5,804.78.