Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

ISM manufacturing activity surges

By Julianne Pepitone, staff reporter

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- While everyone's been worried about a double-dip recession, the manufacturing sector has been on a quiet tear, expanding in August for the 13th straight month, the Institute for Supply Management said Wednesday.

Economist Paul Ashworth of Capital Economics called the report "a rare piece of good news."

The manufacturing index hit 56.3 in August, up from July and well ahead of expectations. Any reading above 50 signals growth; a drop below 41.2 is associated with a recession in the broader economy.

In a research note, Ashworth said he was "worried about an even bigger drop" than the predictions because regional manufacturing surveys showed "sharp deterioration" in August.

Economist Ian Shepherdson of High Frequency Economics was also worried about trends in the sector. In a research note, Shepherdson said the report was "a very big and pleasant surprise," but he warned the index has further to fall and investors should "enjoy this while it lasts."

Stocks got a boost after the report's release, with the Dow index (INDU) surging 230 points.

China's manufacturing sector also picked up in August, according to a pair of reports released earlier Wednesday, calming fears about the pace of that country's growth. To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,798.49 -14.90 -0.08%
Nasdaq 5,127.53 11.38 0.22%
S&P 500 2,090.11 1.24 0.06%
Treasuries 2.22 -0.01 -0.31%
Data as of 7:23am ET
Company Price Change % Change
General Electric Co 30.36 0.00 0.00%
Bank of America Corp... 17.48 0.04 0.23%
HP Inc 12.61 -0.03 -0.24%
Pfizer Inc 32.79 -0.08 -0.24%
Walt Disney Co 115.13 -3.54 -2.98%
Data as of Nov 27


Sumner Redstone, the media mogul who controls Viacom and CBS, is at the center of a legal dispute. One side says he is practically unable to make decisions for himself. The other says he is "engaged and attentive." More

Gold futures hit a low of $1,051.60 an ounce, yet another reminder of just how out of favor gold has become since its all-time high of nearly $1,890 in 2011. More

Watsi crowdfunds donations to cover healthcare costs of those in need. And it's seeing a surprising trend: micro-donations via the popular Chinese social networking app, WeChat. More

Hive, a startup funded by the UN, is tasked with getting more Americans engaged with the refugee crisis. More

Shoppers around the country braved the crowds to get their hands on the best Black Friday deals. More