TUESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2015:
U.S. stocks closed lower Monday, the last day of trade for November, as investors eyed retail results and readied for key data and central bank comments later in the week. The major averages posted their second-straight month of gains, the first such win streak since May. The S&P 500 eked out a roughly 0.05 percent gain for November, while the Nasdaq composite gained more than 1 percent for the month. The Dow Jones industrial average ended the month up about 0.3 percent.
Consumer stocks were among the laggards in the S&P 500, with health care trading more than 1 percent lower as the greatest decliner. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT) traded more than 2 percent lower in afternoon trade, after two straight weeks of solid gains. "The consumer is spending money. They're just not spending it on things where people like me are looking," said Ike Boruchow, Wells Fargo, managing director, retailing/department stores and specialty softlines. "The group's in a position where any sign of good news could be very well received but I don't know the likelihood that there's a ton of good news out there right now," he said.
Nike was the greatest weight on the Dow Jones industrial average. Chevron and IBM contributed the most to gains in afternoon trade. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) briefly traded more than 2 percent lower, weighing on the Nasdaq composite.
Apple and Microsoft traded more than 1 percent higher, while Amazon held slightly lower.
In afternoon trade, the Dow Jones industrial average traded down 25 points, or 0.15 percent, to 17,771, with Wal-Mart the greatest laggard and Caterpillar leading advancers. The S&P 500 traded down 4 points, or 0.18 percent, to 2,086, with energy leading six sectors higher and healthcare leading decliners. The Nasdaq composite traded down 11 points, or 0.21 percent, to 5,116. The Dow transports held more than 1 percent lower, with Avis Budget the greatest decliner. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, traded above 16.
About eight stocks declined for every seven advancers on the New York Stock Exchange, with an exchange volume of 481 million and a composite volume of about 2.3 billion. Gold futures for December delivery settled up $9.60 at $1,065.80 an ounce.