New reports suggest the nation's economy may have turned the corner.
The demand for big-ticket manufactured goods went up by the largest amount in 16 months. It was the second increase in the past three months.
And the Labor Department says new jobless claims fell last week, a sign that companies are cutting fewer workers.
Still, claims remain far above levels in a healthier economy and jobs are still hard to come by.
For the 17th straight week, the number of people continuing to receive unemployment benefits hit a record high of 6.78 million.