Investors were also betting on similar news from Thursday's reports on Personal Income, Spending, the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Index, and Friday's payroll report.
The German and French unemployment rates surprised markets with a fall, suggesting that European economic growth is recovering from its second-quarter slowdown. Nonetheless, the euro was off a bit at $1.2202.
Sterling was also off a bit at $1.7834. Reports that U.K. consumer confidence fell to a 10-month low in August suggested that spending in the country will continue to slow and threaten economic growth.
Meanwhile the U.S. dollar was up at 111.57 yen, as Japanese industrial production fell more than an expected 1.1% in July.