U.S. stocks fell on Monday in light trading after a rally that drove the S&P 500 last week to its highest level in nearly five years and as falling oil prices hit energy shares.
The decline broke a four-day streak of gains for the S&P 500. On Friday, both the Dow and the S&P 500 ended at highs not seen since December 2007. The rally came a day after the Federal Reserve unveiled new stimulus measures that could keep equities buoyed for months. The Fed's action followed a decision by the European Central Bank to support debt-ridden euro-zone nations by purchasing their debt.
Equities' move is mainly consolidation following last week's big move higher, said Bruce Zaro, chief technical strategist at Delta Global Asset Management in Boston, Reuters reports.
"I think the signal that the Fed gave last week is likely to have a lasting effect, and carry through to the end of the year," he said.
Financials, which were among the biggest gainers late last week, were among the sectors leading Monday's decline. The S&P financial index fell 1.1 percent. Bank of America Corp shares lost 2.6 percent to $9.30.
An S&P index of energy shares fell 0.8 percent, slipping in sync with oil prices, which tumbled sharply in afternoon trading. Exxon Mobil shed 0.4 percent to percent to $91.91.
The market's losses were limited by Apple Inc, which hit another all-time session high of $699.80 with demand for its new iPhone 5 exceeding initial supply. The company booked 2 million orders in one day and pushed the delivery date for some pre-orders to next month. The stock rose above $700 after the bell; it closed at $699.78, up 1.2 percent.
Volume was lower than average, with about 5.64 billion shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and the Amex, compared with the year-to-date average daily closing volume of 6.54 billion. Many participants were out on Monday for the observance of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year.