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Stocks continue lower entering midafternoon staff and wire

Stocks stayed lower entering midafternoon Monday, despite the fact that October was shaping up to be one of the best months for the market ever.

Just after 12:30 Eastern the Dow Jones industrial average was down 1.5 percent. The S&P 500 was off 1.6 percent. The Nasdaq was down 1.4 percent.

A major drag on the market was brokerage MF Global filing for bankruptcy.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index has gained 12 percent for the month, which puts the broadest stock-market measure on track for its best month since January 1987. Even after a decline in midday trading Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average is still up 10.7 percent in October, its best month since August 1982.  

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned Monday that European economies will see a "marked slowdown" next year. The organization called on the European Union to provide more information on how it plans to stem the debt crisis.

The European debt crisis is still far from fixed. One troubling sign is that borrowing costs for Italy and Spain have increased, a signal that traders remain worried about their ability to pay their debts.