What you need to know about Thursday’s U.S. economic data:
The Takeaway: The increase in capital goods bookings marks the first back-to-back advance since early 2015 and signals companies are becoming more willing to boost spending. This is a relief, given that business investment on equipment has subtracted from economic growth for the last three quarters, leaving consumer spending to do the heavy lifting. Inventories of durable goods picked up after six straight declines, another hopeful sign for third-quarter growth. One caveat to an otherwise encouraging report was that shipments of non-military hardware excluding aircraft -- which are used to calculate gross domestic product -- weakened for a third straight month. A sustained improvement in orders may, over time, help shipments to also turn up.