US stocks lost ground on Monday after a long gaining streak, as investors grew a little bit cautious following a lackluster start of the holiday shopping season.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 77.64 points, or 0.48 percent, to 16,008.77. The S&P 500 edged down 4.91 points, or 0.27 percent, to 1,800.90. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 14.63 points, or 0.36 percent, to 4,045.26.
The market lost momentum and closed at session low on a late selling after the blue-chip Dow and broader S&P 500 logged an eight-week winning stretch.
The major indices edged down to kick off December, a month the S&P 500 hasn't seen a dip since 2007. The U.S. stock market jumped in November for three months in a row.
Investors were reluctant to take fresh positions after data showed shoppers spent less in this Thanksgiving weekend for the first time since 2008 amid weak economic recovery and early promotions from retailers.
The estimated average spending per shopper is 407.02 U.S. dollars during the past Thanksgiving Day weekend, down from 423.55 dollars last year, according to a survey of the National Retail Federation.
Online sales outperformed the brick-and-mortar sales on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. Amazon shares, however, declined 0.34 percent to 392.30 dollars apiece, while eBay shares rose 1.64 percent to 51.35 dollars.
The U.S. manufacturing sector expanded in November for the sixth consecutive month, but failed to push the equity market to positive territory. The manufacturing activity index edged up to 57.3 in the past month, the highest level since April 2011, said the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).
"The ISM index has risen in each of the past six months as manufacturing data from the Unite Sates, the euro zone, and China have all shown signs of a pickup. However, we have noted that the ISM has been stronger than manufacturing activity as measured by industrial production, manufacturing employment, and capital goods orders," Jay Morelock, a senior economist at FTN Financial, said Monday.
He said it would be necessary to see corresponding strength in hard manufacturing data before declaring robust growth in this sector.
Meanwhile, U.S. construction spending posted a solid 0.8- percent increase in October, said the Commerce Department Monday.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered as a fear gauge of the market, increased 3.87 percent to 14.23.
In other markets, oil prices gained as U.S. manufacturing sector expanded more than expected in November.
Light, sweet crude for January delivery increased 1.1 dollars to settle at 93.82 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for January delivery rose 1.76 dollars to close at 111.45 dollars a barrel.
Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange sank on a stronger dollar. The most active gold contract for February delivery tumbled 28.5 dollars to settle at 1,221.9 dollars per ounce.
The U.S. dollar advanced against major currencies and it rallied against the Japanese yen on speculation that the Bank of Japan, the Japanese central bank, may further expand its massive monetary stimulus program.
In late New York trading, the euro fell to 1.3539 dollars from 1.3583 dollars in the previous session, and the dollar bought 103. 08 Japanese yen, higher than 102.43 yen of the previous session.