New orders for manufacturers rose an uninspiring 1.7 percent in September following two months of declines. Without transportation orders, however, fresh orders for manufacturing firms was down 0.2 percent in the month and the department revised the August figure to minus 0.1 percent.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average added 23.57 points or 0.15 percent to reach 15,639.12. The Standard & Poor's 500 index added 6.29 points or 0.36 percent to close at 1,767.93. The Nasdaq gained 14.55 points, 0.37 percent, to hit 3,936.59.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 2,045 stocks advanced while 1,005 declined on volume of 3.1 billion shares traded.
In London, the FTSE 100 gained 28.88 points, or 0.43 percent, to 6,763.62.
On currency markets, the euro traded at $1.3511 and the dollar rose to 98.63 yen.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold added $1, or 0.08 percent, to $1,31420 per troy ounce. Silver gave up 19.2 cents to $21.645 per ounce.
In late trading, West Texas Intermediate crude oil dropped 16 cents, falling to $94.45 per barrel.
Ten-year benchmark treasuries rose 4/32 to yield 2.607 percent.
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