U.S. stocks fell in early trading on Monday as manufacturing growth across Asia and Europe
eased in November, while consumer stocks were pressured as Thanksgiving weekend in-store sales failed to impress.
Apple (AAPL.O) shares suddenly tumbled shortly after the open, falling more than 3 percent in a minute that also saw the largest one-minute volume in more than a month. The stock was the largest weight on the S&P 500, recently down 2.6 percent at $115.88.
Oil prices have been volatile in morning trading, with both Brent and U.S. crude up sharply after hitting five-year lows. The energy sector of the S&P 500 was however down 0.6 percent.
Industrials were the worst-performing sector in the S&P as the U.S. manufacturing sector's growth rate slowed for a third straight month in November to its lowest rate of growth since January, according to Markit. The ISM report also showed a slowing pace of growth, though it was stronger than expected.
Manufacturing growth across Asia and Europe also eased last month as heavy price cutting failed to revive demand.
“The places where we are seeing strength are in the more defensive areas of the market. That’s tied to the perceived weakness in global growth,” said Kevin Caron, market strategist at Stifel, Nicolaus & Co in Florham Park, New Jersey.
Early holiday promotions and rising online shopping took a toll on in-store U.S. sales during the Thanksgiving weekend as shoppers on average spent 6.4 percent less than they did a year earlier, according to data released Sunday by an industry group.
At 10:56 a.m. EST (1556 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI fell 70.23 points, or 0.39 percent, to 17,758.01, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 17.31 points, or 0.84 percent, to 2,050.25 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 63.63 points, or 1.33 percent, to 4,728.00.
Major U.S. stock indexes racked up a sixth straight positive week Friday, with the S&P 500 up in 12 of the last 15 months and closing just 0.25 percent below its record closing high.
The largest percentage gainer on the S&P 500 was Newmont Mining (NEM.N), which rose 4.6 percent, while the largest decliner was Newfield Exploration (NFX.N), down 9.4 percent.
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