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U.S. stocks dip on holiday sales, U.S. jobs murkiness; Dow down 0.48%

Stock MarketsDec 02, 2013 04:26PM ET
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This article has already been saved in your Saved Items - U.S. stocks fell on Monday on concerns holiday shopping sales may disappoint, while investors also avoided equities to await the release of Friday's November jobs report.

At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the day down 0.48%, the S&P 500 index fell 0.27%, while the Nasdaq Composite index fell 0.36%.

Concerns that shoppers may be out in greater numbers this year but are spending less sent stock prices sliding on Monday.

The National Retail Federation reported earlier that traffic over the U.S. Thanksgiving Day holiday grew 27% on year this year, though the group added that shoppers spent an average of USD407.02 from Thursday through Sunday, down from USD423.55 last year, which allowed stocks to decline.

On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its November jobs report, and many investors opted to remain in safe-haven dollar and other positions ahead of time, especially due to solid data out of the U.S. manufacturing sector.

The dollar saw support earlier after the Institute for Supply Management reported that U.S. manufacturing activity in November expanded at its fastest pace since April 2011, fueling expectations for the Federal Reserve to begin scaling back stimulus measures in early 2014.

Stimulus measures such as the Fed's USD85 billion in monthly bond purchases weaken the dollar by driving down borrowing costs to spur recovery, and talk of their dismantling — the product of advancing economic data — tends to firm the dollar's value.

The ISM manufacturing purchasing managers’ index rose to 57.3 in November from 56.4 in October.

Analysts were expecting the index to fall to 55.0.

The report said both production and new orders rose by around 3 points to 62.8 and 63.6, respectively, while the employment component of the index indicated some improvement in the labor market in November, rising by a little over 3 points to 56.5.

Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included Microsoft, up 0.85%, Visa, up 0.73%, and Merck, up 0.66%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performers included 3M, down 4.36%, The Travelers Companies, down 1.93%, and IBM, down 1.27%.

European indices, meanwhile, finished lower.

After the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX 50 fell 0.23%, France's CAC 40 fell 0.22%, while Germany's DAX 30 fell 0.04%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 finished down 0.83%.

U.S. stocks dip on holiday sales, U.S. jobs murkiness; Dow down 0.48%

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