ORDERS UP: U.S. orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rose 3.6 percent in May. Much of the increase reflected a surge in commercial aircraft orders. Still, businesses also ordered more computers, communications equipment and machinery.

ORDERS UP: U.S. orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rose 3.6 percent in May. Much of the increase reflected a surge in commercial aircraft orders. Still, businesses also ordered more computers, communications equipment and machinery.

MORE INVESTMENT: A category of orders that's viewed as a proxy for business investment plans which excludes the volatile sectors of transportation and defense increased 1.1 percent. That matched similar gains in April and March. This category hadn't risen for three straight months since 2011.

OUTLOOK: Stronger business investment raised hopes that manufacturing could pick up in the second half of this year.