Stocks fall on weak economic news in China, Europe

Stocks are falling at midday on worries about slower global growth and the spreading European debt crisis.

An auction of German debt drew surprisingly weak interest Wednesday, sending global markets lower. Germany has Europe’s biggest economy. The weak auction signaled that Europe’s debt woes might be spreading to the stronger nations that are helping to keep the euro afloat.

A Chinese survey suggested that manufacturing activity there has slowed. Investors focused on the negative aspects of several mixed U.S. economic reports. The government said Tuesday that growth in the third quarter was far slower than previously reported.

The Dow is down 189 points, or 1.6 percent, at 11,305. The S&P 500 is down 22, or 1.8 percent, at 1,167. The Nasdaq is down 50, or 2 percent, at 2,471.