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Dow sinks in early trading...US construction spending reaches highest level in 7 years...US manufacturing slows

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NEW YORK (AP) — More signs of weakness in China's economy are sending global stock markets sharply lower. In early trading on Wall Street, the Dow is down more than 300 points. At 10:39 a.m. Eastern Time, the Dow lost 311 points, to 16,218. The S&P 500 was down 34 points to 1,937. And the Nasdaq fell 60 points to 4,717.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. construction spending in July climbed to its highest level in more than seven years, boosted by an increase in the building of houses, factories and power plants. The Commerce Department says construction spending rose 0.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.08 trillion, the highest level since May 2008.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A private survey finds that growth in U.S. manufacturing slowed last month to the lowest pace in more than two years. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group for purchasing managers, reports that its manufacturing index slid to 51.1 last month from 52.7 in July. It was the second straight drop, and marked the weakest reading since May 2013. Anything above 50 signals growth.

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. auto sales are expected to drop in August, but a quirk in the calendar — not lack of demand — is likely to blame. Labor Day is typically one of the biggest sales weekends of the year as dealers hold model year-end clearance sales and new models arrive. Last year, Labor Day weekend was counted as part of August sales. This year, it will be counted in September. Sales of new cars and trucks are expected to drop 3 percent from last August, according to car buying site

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's labor minister says the country's economy has room to accommodate refugees, but the government will need to spend billions of extra euros (dollars) to cover language courses, benefits and their integration into the labor market. Official data underlines the strength of Europe's biggest economy, showing the national unemployment rate at 6.4 percent in August. That compares with higher jobless rates in many other European countries, topping 20 percent in Greece and Spain.

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