Stocks fell on Monday, but were off their session lows, as investors booked profits following a four-week rally that took the broad S&P 500 index to a 10-month high on Friday.
The drop comes ahead of an abundance of economic data due this week, including the Federal Reserve's statement on interest rates and the economy, as well as government figures for monthly retail sales.
Materials companies' stocks took a hit, with the S&P materials index <.GSPM> down 1.6 percent as a rise in the U.S. dollar curbed investors' appetite for commodities priced in the greenback.
AK Steel Holding
A number of natural resource names were perhaps overextended. We are seeing a pullback in commodity-related stocks, said Joe Arsenio, president of Arsenio Capital Management in Larkspur, California.
He said that there was also some profit taking after the market's steep rise in the past weeks.
There's been quite a bit of money coming in off the sidelines that supported the rally, and it's possible that some of those flows are just diminishing a bit since we've had this tremendous advance, he said.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> lost 32.12 points, or 0.34 percent, to close at 9,337.95. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> fell 3.38 points, or 0.33 percent, to 1,007.10. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> dropped 8.01 points, or 0.40 percent, to 1,992.24.
The retail group was a weak performer in Monday's session, with Best Buy
The S&P Retail index <.RLX> dropped 2 percent.
On Nasdaq, BlackBerry maker Research in Motion
On the upside, McDonald's reported stronger-than-expected July sales, sending the Dow component's stock up 1.9 percent to $56.27 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Fellow Dow component Merck & Co
The S&P healthcare index <.GSPA> gained 0.75 percent.
Volume was low on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1.09 billion shares changing hands, below last year's estimated daily average of 1.49 billion. On the Nasdaq about 1.86 billion shares traded, well below last year's daily average of 2.28 billion.
Declining stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a ratio of 8 to 7, while on the Nasdaq, about 14 stocks fell for every 13 that rose.
(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Jan Paschal)