After rising 4.5 percent in September, a figure revised down from 4.8 percent, new orders for manufactured goods rose by 0.8 percent in October or by $3.8 billion to $477.6 billion.
The gain beat expectations, which called for no gain in the month.
New orders for big-ticket transportation items made up the difference. Excluding transportation orders, new factory orders rose 1.3 percent in the month.
New orders have risen for three of the past four months.
Orders for durable goods -- defined as merchandise expected to last at least three years -- rose by 0.5 percent to $217.9 billion after rising 9.8 percent in September.
New orders for non-durable goods rose by 1.1 percent to $259.7 billion, following a 1 percent drop in September.