U.S. stocks ended slightly lower on Monday as gains in consumer-related stocks, including tobacco shares, were offset by losses in the energy sector.
Shares of Coca Cola Co and Procter & Gamble Co were two of the Dow Jones Industrial Average's best performers. Coca-Cola rose 1.6 percent to $51.08 and P&G gained 1.4 percent to $60.62.
Consumer shares rose after the government said personal spending rose moderately in May, exceeding expectations, after being flat in April.
Tobacco companies rallied after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an attempt by the U.S. government to wrest billions of dollars in damages from the tobacco industry. Altria Group Inc gained 3.3 percent to $20.34 and Reynolds American Inc jumped 4.1 percent to $53.45. The Dow Jones tobacco index <.DJUSTB> rose 1.8 percent.
The spotlight, however, was on the consumer as investors and analysts waited for further evidence that consumer spending, which accounts for two-thirds of economic activity, would show greater strength and propel broad growth.
What has been driving the market higher has been expectations that the good manufacturing recovery we've seen is going to take root and drive the whole economy forward, said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois.
But the big concern there is, the consumer has to be the one to step up to the plate and make that happen.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> dropped 5.29 points, or 0.05 percent, to 10,138.52. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> slipped 2.19 points, or 0.20 percent, to 1,074.57. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> shed 2.83 points, or 0.13 percent, to 2,220.65.
The S&P Consumer Staples index <.GSPS> advanced 1.1 percent.
But Wall Street's earlier advance was short-circuited by weakness in the energy sector, as U.S. crude oil futures fell as fears Tropical Storm Alex would disrupt production in the Gulf of Mexico eased. Exxon Mobil Corp shares dipped 1.1 percent to $58.47.
Among the bright spots in the energy sector, Noble Corp , owner of the second-largest fleet of offshore drilling rigs, gained 2.5 percent to $30 after announcing it would buy Norway's privately held Frontier Drilling for $2.16 billion.
After the closing bell, 3M Co gained 1 percent to $79.75 as the diversified manufacturer announced a second-quarter sales forecast in the range of $6.6 billion to $6.75 billion.
About 7.08 billion shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, the lowest
volume since April 5 and below last year's estimated daily average of 9.65 billion.
Declining stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the New York Stock exchange by 1626 to 1420 while on the Nasdaq there were 1572 declining stocks and 1090 advancers.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Kenneth Barry)