Nasdaq Composite snaps longest win streak since April

Pisani: Weak data starts December
Pisani: Weak data starts December   

U.S. stocks declined on Monday, with the Nasdaq Composite falling for the first session in seven, as a lackluster start to the holiday shopping season mostly overrode data that had a measure of U.S. factory activity slowing less than expected in November.

"The Black Friday retail sales looked a little punkish," said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott.

The fall in Apple's shares "may be some evidence of concern of a weak start of what was expected to be a pretty good holiday season on the back of the gas price tax cut," said Luschini.

Traders said there was talk that investment-management company Vanguard had sold a stake in the consumer technology company. Vanguard declined comment.

Stocks cut their losses after the Institute for Supply Management said its national factory activity index dropped to 58.7 last monthfrom 59 in October, with the latest figure beating expectations of 57.8.

"This at least for the moment stemmed that pattern, which is good," said Luschini, referring to a handful of regional reports last week that pointed to a weakening in manufacturing activity.

Americans spent about 11 percent less during the long holiday weekend ahead of Cyber Monday's online sales, according to survey results released Sunday by the National Retail Federation.

Markit's final November manufacturing Purchasing managers' Index for the euro zone was 50.1, its lowest level since June 2013.

China's official factory index dropped to 50.3 for November, while the Markit index had it at 50.

Caterpillar leads blue-chip losses

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After a 101-point fall, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 51.44 points, or 0.3 percent, to 17,776.80, with General Electric leading blue-chip declines that extended to 23 of 30 components.

The S&P 500 fell 14.12 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,053.44, with industrials the poorest performing and energy faring the best of 10 major industry groups.

The CBOE Volatility Index, a gauge of investor uncertainty, rose 7.2 percent to 14.29.

Halting a six-session win streak, its longest since April, the Nasdaq declined 64.28 points, or 1.3 percent, to 4,727.35.

For every share gaining, more than three fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where 877 million shares traded. Composite volume approached 4.2 billion.

A trader speaks on the phone in front of the index board in Frankfurt, Germany.
Getty Images
A trader speaks on the phone in front of the index board in Frankfurt, Germany.

Crude oil for January delivery gained $2.85, or 4.3 percent, to $68.86 a barrel, and gold futures for February added $42.60, or 3.6 percent, to $1,218.10 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The U.S. dollar declined against the currencies of major American trading partners and the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note added 7 basis points to 2.2359 percent.

On Friday, U.S. stocks ended the week at highs as markets rallied on overseas central banks' stimulus efforts and an encouraging domestic outlook.

Read MoreStocks close up for the fifth week; Dow, S&P at records

True cost of Christmas up 1%
True cost of Christmas up 1%   

Coming Up This Week:

Tuesday

Earnings: Bank of Montreal, Bob Evans

Monthly car sales

10:00 a.m.: Construction spending

Wednesday

Earnings: Brown Forman, Abercrombie and Fitch, Royal Bank of Canada, Aeropostale

8:15 a.m.: ADP employment

8:30 a.m.: Productivity and costs

10:00 a.m.: ISM nonmanufacturing

12:30 p.m.: Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser

2:00 p.m.: Beige book

2:00 p.m.: Fed Gov Lael Brainard on financial stability

7:30 p.m.: Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher

Thursday

Chain store sales

European Central Bank rate meeting

Earnings: Toronto Dominion, Zumiez, Smith and Wesson, Dollar General, Barnes and Noble, American Eagle Outfitters, Ulta Salon, Kroger

8:30 a.m.: Initial claims

8:30 a.m.: Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester

1:15 p.m. Fed Gov. Brainard

Friday

Earnings: Big Lots, Vail Resorts

8:30 a.m.: Employment report

8:30 a.m.: International Trade

8:45 a.m.: Cleveland Fed's Mester

1000 a.m.: Factory orders

3:00 p.m.: Consumer credit

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