MANUFACTURING REBOUND: The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index showed slower growth in November, but new orders jumped. That means factories are more likely to boost production in the months ahead.
HOUSING, TOO: Construction spending rose in October for the first time in six months. And the number of people who signed contracts to buy previously occupied homes grew for the ninth straight month, partly due to a federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers.
CAN IT LAST?: Weakness in commercial construction, wary consumers concerned about rising unemployment and the looming expiration of the homebuyer tax credit in April make economists hesitant to conclude that a strong recovery is sustainable next year.