Wholesalers' inventories fell unexpectedly in August while sales of goods posted a solid rise, the Commerce Department said recently. Wholesale stocks dropped 0.2 percent in August after no change in July. Analysts were expecting inventories to increase 0.1 percent.

Boosted by demand for machinery and nondurable goods, sales climbed 0.4 percent in August after rising 0.5 percent the previous month. The inventory-to-sales-ratio, which measures the amount of time it takes deplete supplies at the current sales pace, fell to 1.2 months, the lowest on record.