But the half percent fall in the Dow Jones Industrial Average followed a near 2 percent gain for New York's main indexes on Friday after data showed sluggish wage growth in February, easing concerns the Federal Reserve might raise interest rates swiftly.
Wall Street struggled to hold on to early gains on Monday as losses in industrial stocks including Boeing and Caterpillar more than offset gains in chipmakers and technology companies.
Canada's main stock index closed higher Monday while US markets were mixed as questions continue about the potential impacts of metal tariffs. Microsoft was among the worst-performing stocks on the Dow, falling 2.4 percent. The UK's FTSE index was trading higher by 0.02 percent, while French CAC 40 Index rose 0.29 percent.
"The market was particularly optimistic that wage growth wasn't too hot for fear of inflationary concerns", said Andre Bakhos, managing director at New Vines Capital LLC in Bernardsville, New Jersey.
Last week's gains were also supported by U.S. President Donald Trump's softer stance on his decision to impose import tariffs on steel and aluminum by exempting Canada and Mexico.
The pullback in wages tempered speculation the Federal Reserve would project four rate hikes - or dot plots - at its policy meeting next week, instead of the current three.
Wall Street's main indexes closed up almost 2 percent on Friday after data showed US job additions in February grew by a strong clip but wage growth was sluggish.
The S&P 500 in response is just 3 percent below record highs hit on January 26 while the Nasdaq is back to a record. Wall Street stocks advanced early today, keeping positive momentum from last week's strong jobs report ahead of key data releases on USA inflation and retail sales. The S&P 500 rose 0.17 percent at 2,791.32 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.25 percent to 7,579.83.
Shares of Broadcom jumped 3.2 per cent after a Wall Street Journal report that Intel is considering bidding for the chip company, which has undertaken a hostile campaign to buy Qualcomm.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.22-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.45-to-1 ratio favored advancers.