Durable goods orders rose 0.1 percent to $224.9 billion, slightly ahead of expectations.
The consensus forecast called for new durable goods orders to remain flat.
New orders, up for four of the past five months, returned to the recent trend after an 8.1 percent drop in July.
The U.S. Census Bureau said orders for big-ticket transportation items -- ships, trucks, planes and railroad cars -- rose 0.7 percent, or by $500 million, to $67.9 billion with a noteworthy gain in motor vehicles and parts, which rose by $1.1 billion.
Excluding transportation orders, new orders for U.S. factories fell 0.1 percent. Without defense orders considered, new orders rose 0.5 percent, the Commerce Department said.
Shipments of durable goods -- goods expected to last three years or more -- rose after two months of declines, climbing 0.9 percent to $231.5 billion, the highest level since 1992, when accounting rules were changed.
Factories reported an increase in unfilled orders, which rose by $400 million to $1.03 trillion, which is also a modern peak for the category.
Inventories rose 0.1 percent, or by $300 million to $379.1 billion, a post-1992 record.