The Commerce Department noted that demand for durable goods products designed to last at least 3 years dropped 4.9% during August, hitting a seasonally adjusted $219.53 billion. This decline, which was wider than the 3.1% pullback expected by economists, followed a revised advance of 6.1% in July.

Orders for all durables, excluding transportation, slipped 1.8%, as transportation orders dropped 11.2%. Demand for commercial planes plunged 41.0% after rising 13.2% the previous month. Military aircraft orders were sharply higher, however, rising 43.2%. Motor vehicles and parts demand sagged 6.2% last month. All durable-goods orders, excluding defense, fell 5.9%.

Meanwhile, last week's interest-rate cut hasn't immediately translated to a boon in the mortgage market. The U.S. Mortgage Bankers' Association said its weekly market index retreated 2.8%. Purchase activity slowed by 7.3%, while refinancing grew 3.3% during the past week.