The Empire State Index shows that factory activity is on the water

<pre><pre>The Empire State Index shows that factory activity is on the water

Bloomberg News / Landov

An employee pulls a crucible made of molten glass from an oven at the Corning Inc. plant in Corning, New York.

The payment: The New York Federal Reserve's Empire State Business Condition Index rose 1.5 points to 4.8 in January, the regional Fed said on Wednesday. According to a survey by Econoday, economists had expected a value of 3.6.

A value above zero indicates that conditions are improving.

What happened: The order intake index rose by 4.9 points to 6.6 points in January, while shipping decreased by 0.9 points to 8.6 points. Orders that were not fulfilled continued to decline.

The optimism regarding the half-year outlook remained subdued. The index for future terms and conditions fell 3 points to 23.6.

The Empire State Index compared to the ISM Factory Index

Big picture: The leading index has been in a narrow range since mid-2019. Overall, the factory sector continued to struggle, burdened by international trade fears, a decline in spending and Boeing Co’s

BA, -0.77%

Questions about his grounded 737 Max aircraft. Investors look at the data mainly to get an impression of the US ISM index, which has been declining for five months in a row. Regional Fed indicators have not been as weak as the ISM in recent months. In December, the ISM factory index fell to 47.2, the weakest since the recession.

What do you say? Josh Shapiro, chief economist at MFR Inc, called the report "lackluster".

Market reaction: The stocks opened higher as concerns over trade tensions with China eased. The S&P 500 index

SPX, + 0.19%

had risen 3.35 points in the late afternoon trade.