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Stocks Fall as Chinese Manufacturing Slows

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks opened slightly higher on Wednesday but any big moves were capped after China's manufacturing activity fell to its lowest level in six years.

The S&P 500 was up 0.09%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.04%, and the Nasdaq climbed 0.17%.

Asian markets were deep in the red on Wednesday after fresh data on China's manufacturing sector underscored fears of a slowdown. Factory activity in China dropped to its lowest level since March 2009 -- a reading of 47 in September fell below estimates of 47.5, according to the preliminary Caixin China manufacturing PMI. China's Shanghai Composite fell 2.2%.

Manufacturing activity in Europe also showed signs of weakness. A reading of 53.9 in September fell short of forecasts, according to the Markit Eurozone Manufacturing PMI. However, growth in new orders jumped to a five-month high, a positive sign of likely improvement in the overall manufacturing sector in coming months.

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