Economic reports Wednesday showed a slow recovery was beginning to gain some momentum.
Private employers added more jobs than expected in October after laying off workers the previous month, while the dominant services sector expanded for a 10th straight month. A third report showed orders received by domestic factories increased in September by the largest margin in eight months.
"We are slowly moving in the right direction. Even though we are seeing some private hiring pick up, we need businesses to push even harder on the accelerator. We have a long ways to go," said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody's Analytics in West Chester, Pa.
Last month, private employers added 43,000 jobs, more than twice as many as expected, according to payrolls processor ADP Employer Services.
September's job losses were revised to 2,000 from the 39,000 originally reported.
The bigger-than-expected gain in private hiring suggested a more comprehensive government report on employment due Friday could show a slightly larger increase in jobs in October than the 60,000 predicted by economists polled by Reuters.
Separately, the Institute for Supply Management said its index of non-manufacturing activity rose to 54.3 last month from 53.2 in September. A figure above 50 signals expansion.
Another report from the Commerce Department showed orders for manufactured goods increased 2.1% in September after being flat in August.
"While the pickup in services industries is not as robust as the manufacturing sector, the combined picture certainly points to an improvement in the pace of overall economic activity in the fourth quarter," said Brian Bethune, chief U.S. financial economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Mass.