News Summary: Stocks higher on manufacturing

MANUFACTURING OPTIMISM: U.S. manufacturing grew in September for the first time in four months. Manufacturing employment grew, too.

HOUSING HOPE: The government also said U.S. builders spent more on home construction in August, the latest positive sign for the housing market.

WHAT'S NEXT: Those two positive signs for employment suggested that there's at least a chance that the government will report job growth in its monthly survey of the labor market on Friday.