Wall Street mostly shrugged off a weaker-than-expected payrolls report on Friday, leaving stocks little changed as the data didn't alter investors' view the economic recovery is on track.
U.S. employment barely grew in November and the jobless rate unexpectedly jumped to a seven-month high of 9.8 percent, the government said.
But recent data, including retail sales and other labor reports, have raised optimism the recovery is accelerating after hitting a soft patch in the summer.
Separately Friday, a report showed the U.S. services sector grew for an 11th straight month in November, but the government said new U.S. factories orders dropped.
The marketplace understands we never have a recovery that is uneventful, without bumps, said Art Hogan, chief market analyst at Jefferies & Co in Boston.
The pattern of jobs creation has improved. It's moving in the right direction.
He said the technology sector may be in focus because if the economy is creating fewer jobs corporations are buying more technology to remain productive.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> dipped 7.15 points, or 0.06 percent, to 11,355.26. The Standard & Poor's 500 <.SPX> dropped 2.53 points, or 0.21 percent, to 1,219.00. The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> shed 0.61 points, or 0.02 percent, to 2,578.74.
The S&P 500 faced strong technical resistance at about 1,228, near a recent high of more than two years and also the 61.8 percent Fibonacci retracement of the index's slide from October 2007 to March 2009, a key technical indicator.
Support for the benchmark kicks in at 1,200, which was recently a stubborn resistance point, and near 1,195, its 14-day moving average.
Further limiting the decline in stocks, the euro rose 1 percent against the U.S. dollar. A stronger euro has recently translated into a boost for U.S. and global equities.
The focus today is more on what is related to the weaker dollar, like basic materials, Jefferies' Hogan said.
The S&P materials index <.GSPM>, up 0.3 percent, was the only top S&P sector in the black.
China will switch to a prudent monetary policy from a moderately loose stance, the Communist Party's top leaders decided Friday, possibly paving the way for more interest rate increases and lending controls.
In company news, U.S.-based mining group Walter Energy Inc
(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)