A surge in transportation orders, which rose 31.3 percent, pushed orders for manufactured goods up 4.8 percent, the Census Bureau said.
The report helped pump up the dollar index, which rose 0.66 percent on the International Exchange to 80.58.
The dollar made headway in both Asia and Europe, giving up ground against the Brazilian real, Canadian dollar, the Egyptian pound and the Indonesian rupiah, but gaining elsewhere.
Gold dropped $38 to hit $1,677.50 an ounce on the New York Mercantile's Comex Division -- a two-month low.
Silver also fell, dropping $1.37 or 4.2 percent to $30.88 an ounce.
The euro fell to $1.2836 from Thursday's $1.2943. Against the yen, the dollar rose to 80.47 yen from 80.14 yen.