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Market Recap: Stocks Down on Fed Apprehension & China

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Markets closed down today:

▼ Dow: -0.39 percent

▼ Nasdaq: -1.03 percent

▼ S&P: -0.61 percent

Precious metals:

▼ Gold: -0.68 percent to $1,725.91 an ounce

▼ Silver: -1.07 percent to settle at $33.33

Commodities:

▼ Oil: -0.08 percent

Market were down because:

Stocks slipped on Wall Street as troubling economic news from China and the U.S. outweighed optimism about more stimulus from the Federal Reserve.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 52.35 points to close at 13,254.29 on Monday. The Standard & Poor's 500 slipped 8.84 points to 1,429.08 and the Nasdaq composite fell 32.40 points to 3,104.02.

The stumble marks a pause in a rally last week that took the Dow and the S&P 500 to their highest levels in more than four years.

Stock markets rose around the world last week after the European Central Bank announced a long-anticipated plan to support struggling countries in the European Union.

Investors are hopeful that the Fed will act this week to support the U.S. economy. The monetary policymaking body of the Federal Reserve meets on Wednesday and Thursday. Many anticipate a third round of bond purchases or other support for the financial system.

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke indicated in a speech last month that the central bank is inclined to provide new stimulus to the U.S. economy if it's needed.

Since the speech, the government reported weak growth in jobs last month, heightening the case for more stimulus. There have also been new signs that manufacturing and construction are slowing down.

On Monday, the Fed also reported that Americans cut back on their credit card use in July for the second straight month, suggesting many remain cautious in the face of high unemployment and slow economic growth. Total borrowing dipped $3.3 billion in July from June to a seasonally adjusted $2.705 trillion.

There were also discouraging news out of China, giving investors more reason to worry that one of the most important engines of the global economy is sputtering. Auto sales growth slowed in August and imports shrank unexpectedly. Factory output also slid to three-year low last month. The Chinese president warned growth could slow further.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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