Senior economics reporter
The Philly Fed factory index hit a high of 34.4 in May.
The numbers: The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index rebounded in September after slowing sharply in the prior month. The index rose to a two-month high of 22.9 in September from 11.9 in August, the regional district of the central bank said Thursday. That was above the MarketWatch-compiled economist consensus for a reading of 19.6.
Any reading above zero indicates improving conditions.
What happened: The new-orders index jumped 11.5 points to 21.4, and the shipments index rose 3 points to 19.6. Survey respondents reported diminished price pressures. Expectations for the next six months showed some moderation.
Big picture: The index returned to near its average reading for the year. The Empire State factory index, released Monday fell 6.6 points to 19 in September, a softer-than-expected reading. The two regional manufacturing reports are of interest to traders primarily because they are seen as an early forecast of the national Institute for Supply Management factory survey due in two weeks. The mixed readings could mean a retreat for the ISM factory index in September after it hit a 14-year high in August.
Market reaction: Stocks DJIA, +0.61% were expected to open higher on Thursday with futures for all major indexes moving up.