New factory orders for durables plummeted a record 18.2% in August, following a record spike of 22.5% in July.

Market expectations were for a 17.1% fall.

The volatile transportation segment fell a monthly 42% in August, following a 73.3% jump the month before.

Excluding transportation, durables orders rebounded 0.7%, following a decline of 0.5% in July. Analysts projected a 0.8% gain for August. 

Recent durables orders have shown record volatility. On average, durables orders point to moderate upward momentum in manufacturing.

Within transportation, nondefense aircraft fell a monthly 74.3%, following a 315.6% spike in July with both swings essentially reflecting Boeing aircraft orders. Defense aircraft orders slipped 0.6%, following a 31.7% drop in July. Motor vehicle orders have been moderately volatile but healthy on average, decreasing 6.4% after a 10.0% boost the prior month.

Outside of transportation, major industries seeing a gain in the latest month were fabricated metals, machinery, computers & electronics, electrical equipment, and "other." Declines were posted for primary metals.

Nondefense capital goods orders excluding aircraft rebounded 0.6% in August, following a dip of 0.2% the month before. Shipments of this series edged up 0.1% but followed a strong 1.9% gain in July.