Just before 2 p.m. on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 26 points, and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index and Nasdaq were both treading slightly lower.
On the economic calendar to kick-off the busy week were reports on October construction spending, November manufacturing and auto sales.
What's Moving the Stock Market Today
- Manufacturing Data
The ISM's manufacturing purchasers' index fell unexpectedly last month to 49.5 from 51.7 in October, marking the lowest reading since July 2009. Forecasts were for a reading of 51.5. A reading above 50 suggests expanding activity. Monday's reports gave no such hints.
According to economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswire, demand has slowed in the second half of 2012. The culprit is the imminent fiscal cliff.