ISM Report: Manufacturing Improves Slightly In Sept.

MANUFACTURING EXPANDS: Manufacturing grew at a faster pace in September than in August, a private trade group says. That's a positive sign that the economy is growing, though at a weak pace.

ORDERS FALLING: Production and export orders grew, the Institute for Supply Management says. So did employment. U.S. orders contracted for the third straight month. That doesn't bode well for future growth.

STILL WEAK: The ISM's manufacturing index rose to 51.6, up from 50.6 in August. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion. Still, the index has fallen sharply since it topped 60 for four straight months earlier this year.