The numbers: The New York Fed’s Empire State manufacturing business conditions index rose 11.1 points to 30.9 in November, the regional Fed bank said Monday. Economists had expected a reading of 22, according to a survey by The Wall Street Journal.

Any reading above zero indicates improving conditions.

Key details: The new-orders index rose 4.5 points in November to 28.8, and the shipments index soared 19.3 points to 28.2.

Unfilled orders slipped and delivery times lengthened. Inventories fell slightly.

Employment rose 8.9 points to a record 26 in November.

The prices-received index hit a record high in November while the prices-paid reading was not far below its record high.

Optimism dipped in November as the expectation index for six-months ahead fell 15.1 points to 36.9.

Big picture: The Empire State index has swung wildly in recent months after hitting 43 in July. Economists say manufacturing continues to struggle meeting high demand because of supply chain headaches.

Economists and investors use the Empire State index as an early gauge of the strength of the national ISM November factory index, to be released early next month. In October, the ISM factory index held steady at a strong 60.8 reading.

Market reaction: Stock futures pointed to a higher opening
DJIA,
+0.50%

SPX,
+0.72%

on Monday.

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