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Disappointing Global Manufacturing Data Sinks Stocks

Disappointing global manufacturing growth sent the markets plummeting to a sharply lower close with the Dow collapsing 250 points to 12,573. Nasdaq sank 71 points to 2859.

On the upside

The rejection by American Airlines pilots of a proposed contract lifted shares of U. S. Airways (NYSE: LCC), which is pursuing a possible acquisition of bankrupt AMR.

Gannett (NYSE: GCI) named former energy utility company AES chief financial officer Victoria Harker to the position of chief financial officer.

3M will pay approximately $110 million in cash to acquire Federal Signal's (NYSE: FSS) technology unit FSTech.

On the downside

A Seeking Alpha contributor wrote that Patriot Coal (NYSE: PCX) was one of the riskiest investments in the coal sector and the most likely to go bankrupt.

Mechel (NYSE: MTL) disappointed with lower first quarter earnings.

Retreating crude oil prices weighed down shares of Goodrich Petroleum (NYSE: GDP), Oasis Petroleum (NYSE: OAS) and Plains Exploration (NYSE: PXP).

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 4 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plunged 19 points 764.

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