The Philly Fed a couple months ago was the first regional report that showed significant contraction in monthly conditions followed later by the New York Fed and now, dramatically, by the Richmond Fed whose manufacturing index fell to minus 17 to show very deep contraction vs only fractional contraction in June. New orders, the life blood of business, fell to minus 25 vs June's already very weak minus 7. Backlogs, at minus 27, are extending their run of deep contraction.
Shipments show roughly the same degree of contraction as new orders while inventories are on the rise, a build that is likely unwanted given the weakness in orders. One positive, one that may not last however, is relative strength in employment though the Richmond Fed's sample is adding fewer employees than in previous months.
The Richmond Fed report doesn't get much play in the markets but it may today given how extreme these declines are. This report isn't helping the Dow any which is moving to opening lows following today's release.