By Chuck Mikolajczak
| NEW YORK
NEW YORK U.S. stocks declined on Monday for their worst performance in nearly a month, weighed down by a pullback in the financial and consumer discretionary sectors as some investors booked profits on the heels of a record-setting week.The three major U.S. indexes had closed higher for the third week in a row on Friday, with the S&P 500 notching its seventh record close since the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 8.U.S. stocks have jumped since Donald Trump's victory in the presidential election, with the S&P 500 up nearly 3 percent, as investors expect his plans to boost infrastructure spending, cut corporate taxes and reduce regulation to benefit the economy.The S&P financial .SPSY and consumer discretionary .SPLRCD sectors have been among the best performers since the election, as banks have rocketed up more than 10 percent and discretionary stocks climbed over 4 percent. The small-cap Russell 2000 , comprised of many domestically-focused stocks, has soared 11.3 percent."We did have a big run up, of course, in the reaction to the election, a lot of economically-sensitive sectors like finance had big runs," said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois."Now we are seeing a little bit of profit taking, waiting on the next big driver."
The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI fell 54.24 points, or 0.28 percent, to 19,097.9, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 11.63 points, or 0.53 percent, to 2,201.72 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 30.11 points, or 0.56 percent, to 5,368.81.Prices for both Brent and U.S. crude settled up more than 2 percent in volatile trading, recouping early losses, as the market reacted to the shaky prospect of major OPEC producers being able to agree output cuts at a meeting on Wednesday. Three of the top four drags on the S&P 500 were banks, with Wells Fargo (WFC.N) off 2 percent, Bank of America (BAC.N) down 2.7 percent and Citigroup (C.N) down 2.3 percent.
Amazon (AMZN.O), down 1.7 percent at $766.77, was the biggest drag on the Nasdaq despite a report showing early Cyber Monday sales were expected to finish up 9.4 percent compared with last year. Time Inc (TIME.N) jumped 17.6 percent to $16 after the New York Post reported that the publisher had rejected a takeover bid from billionaire investor Edgar Bronfman Jr.About 6.52 billion shares changed hands in U.S. exchanges, below the 7.84 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.99-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.36-to-1 ratio favored decliners.The S&P 500 posted 21 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 180 new highs and 23 new lows. (Editing by Nick Zieminski)
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