A Weak Open On Wall Street As China Stumbles

PALLAVI GOGOI

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ 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.

"The economy is not going through a nosedive, so I'm not sure we need another stimulus," said John Manley, chief equity strategist at Wells Fargo Advantage Funds. "But Bernanke would rather make a mistake going in early with stimulus than not, especially since the markets will not tolerate inaction."

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