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Market News: Applied Materials, Sunedison, First Niagara Financial

The stock markets in the United States declined primarily due to additional signs of a slowdown of the Chinese economy, which negatively impacted companies in the raw materials and industrial sectors.

Today, data showed that China’s manufacturing industry contracted at its fastest pace in September. The Caixin’s Purchasing Managers’s Index (PMI) preliminary figure was 47.0, the seventh consecutive month of contraction since March 2009. A result below 50 means the manufacturing sector is weakening.

Caixin Insight Group chief economist, He Fan said the China’s manufacturing industry “reached a crucial stage in the structural transformation process.” He added that the weakness was primarily caused by the sluggish demand for Chinese products and lower export prices.

Sean Shepley, head of global macro product strategy at Credit Suisse Group AG (ADR) (NYSE:CS), told the Wall Street Journal that China’s slowdown was “not an enormous surprise.”

Meanwhile, European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi told Parliament lawmakers that it is too soon to make a decision whether the risks to the economic outlook require...