Latest factory, construction data points to recovery


The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index revealed an improving manufacturing sector in July, while the U.S. Commerce Department announced that construction spending rose on signs of housing sector stabilization in June.

The ISM manufacturing index rose to 48.9 percent in July from 44.8 in June -- the index's seventh consecutive monthly increase. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected the index to total 46.5 in July. The index totaled 42.8 in May. It hit a low of 32.9 in December 2008.