US STOCKS-Wall St climbs to fresh record on Ukraine hopes, data
* Factory orders increase in July, Beige Book on tap
* Automakers post string August sales
* Indexes: Dow up 0.34 pct, S&P 500 up 0.17 pct, Nasdaq off 0.1 pct (Updates to market open; adds quote)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Sept 3 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 touching a new record high on optimism a resolution would be reached between Ukraine and Russia and data showing manufacturing activity continues to strengthen.
Ukraine said its president had agreed with Russia's Vladimir Putin on steps towards a "ceasefire regime" in Kiev's conflict with pro-Russian rebels, but the Kremlin denied any actual deal, prompting confusion on the eve of a NATO summit.
Putin later said his views and those of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko were "very close" on finding a political solution to a conflict in eastern Ukraine and that a deal between Kiev and the rebels could be reached by Friday.
Data continued to point to an improving U.S. economy. New orders for manufactured goods increased a record 10.5 percent in July. June's orders were revised to show a 1.5 percent increase instead of the previously reported 1.1 percent rise.
"We've got a market that has been able to focus on fundamentals and to a certain extent put some of the geopolitical concerns on the back burner," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York. Continuación...