- Weekend retail sales disappoint
- Shiller warns of 'boom' in US stock markets
- Manufacturing figures from US, UK, Eurozone and China beat forecasts
Dow Jones: -0.28%
S&P 500: -0.10%
US stocks declined on Monday despite some robust manufacturing data from across the globe, as retailers were pressured lower by reports of a fall in spending over the Thanksgiving holidays.
Black Friday, considered the start to the US holiday shopping season, saw its first drop in sales since 2009, according to a National Retail Federation survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics over the holiday weekend.
Total spending from Thanksgiving day last Thursday and through the weekend was estimated to have dropped by 2.9% to $57.4bn (£35bn). Average spending per shopper fell 3.9% to $407.02 (£247.92).
Stocks were also being weighed down by comments from Nobel Prize for Economics laureate Robert Shiller, who raised concerns about an equity-market bubble on Wall Street.
Speaking to Germany's Der Spiegel Sunday magazine, he said that the "boom" in the US stock market "makes me most worried [...] because our economy is still weak and vulnerable".
According to economic data out today, the ISM's measure of US manufacturing unexpectedly increased to 57.3 in November from 56.4 the month before. Analysts were expecting a figure closer to 55.1.
Meanwhile, the final reading of Markit's own manufacturing purchasing managers' index came in at 54.7 compared to the initial estimate of 54.3 and well above the October reading of 51.8.
Manufacturing figures from the UK, Eurozone and China also came in much better than forecasts for November.
Data-heavy week for markets
Later in the week will be the release of reports on the US housing sector, consumer confidence and employment. However, Alastair Winter, Chief Economist at Daniel Stewart & Co, said that the November non-farm payrolls figures on Friday will be the "big number of the week".
Anything close to October's surprise 204,000 jump is likely to "get pulses racing and equity prices falling" given the recent speculation surrounding an impending taper of quantitative easing.
Federal Reserve policymakers have hinted that a scaling back of its $85bn per month in asset purchases could come as soon at its next meeting in mid-December but the majority economists expect a March 2014 start.
"As it stands, I think it's very unlikely that the Fed will scale back its asset purchases in a couple of weeks time," said Alpari UK analyst Craig Erlam.
"While some areas of the economy have improved and the impact of the October government shutdown has been non-existent, the majority of the data has been fairly mixed."
Retailers in focus in Black Friday aftermath
A host of retailers were in the red early on after the weekend's sales figures disappointed, with Kohl's, Macy's, JC Penney and Dollar General all registering losses.
In contrast, internet retailers eBay and Amazon rallied as sentiment remains high ahead of 'Cyber Monday'. Online spending on Black Friday rose 15% to a record $1.2bn, according to ComScore Inc.
US energy drink maker Monster Beverage advanced after JPMorgan raised its recommendation on the shares
to 'overweight' from 'neutral'.
Gold producer Newmont retreated as the price of the yellow metal dropped as much as 1.4%, the biggest fall in more than a week.