US stocks ended lower on Monday, interrupting last week's rally, as investors turned cautious ahead of employment data due this week that could alter expectations that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates early next year.
The S&P 500 receded, with megacaps Microsoft, Apple , Nvidia and Amazon dipping over 1 percent , pressured by higher US Treasury yields, which made returns on stocks less attractive.
The S&P 500 registered its highest close of the year on Friday as remarks from Fed Chair Jerome Powell acknowledged the central bank's need to "move forward carefully" amid signs of economic softening, comments that bolstered expectations the Fed has finished raising rates.
"There is a lot of chop around here that is not necessarily meaningful," said Tom Martin, a senior portfolio manager at GLOBALT Investments in Atlanta.
"We have a really important Fed meeting coming up, and what makes it important is that all of a sudden, the market has decided that they're going to cut early next year."
The S&P 500 fell 0.5 percent to end the session at 4,569.
The Nasdaq declined 0.8 percent to 14,185, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.1 percent to 36,204.
Ride-hailing service Uber Technologies rallied 2.2 percent after an announcement on Friday it will join the S&P 500 effective December 18.
This week's main macroeconomic focus will be Friday's jobs report for November, which may help investors gauge the Fed's likely interest rate path, as well as the potential for a "soft landing" - where the Fed manages to bring inflation under control while averting a recession.
Traders widely expect the central bank to keep rates unchanged at its meeting next week. Interest rate futures suggest a 58 percent probability the Fed will start cutting rates by March 2024, according to the CME Group's FedWatch tool.
However, some analysts warn that markets have been too quick to price in lower interest rates.
Adding to declines on Monday were renewed fears about a widening of the war in Israel and Gaza after an attack on three commercial vessels in the Red Sea. (Reuters)