The US markets closed mostly lower on Monday, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq slipping, as large-capitalization technology names took a beating. Early Saturday, the Senate passed the Republican-sponsored tax reform proposal almost entirely along party lines, which being viewed as a key victory for US President Donald Trump. Progress on the Republican tax plan was in the spotlight, while investors continued to watch for news of the special counsel's probe of US President Donald Trump's election campaign. Meanwhile, according to new Fed research, while inflation moved closer to the US central bank's 2 percent target in September and October following months of lackluster results, its increase reflected gains in goods and services that aren't necessarily linked to monetary policy. That means policy makers could still have a hard time reaching their target, which has remained elusive throughout much of the economic recovery.
On the economy front, US factory orders fell 0.1% in October largely because of fewer bookings for passenger planes, cars and trucks. The decline was concentrated in large aircraft and autos, two volatile categories that often distort the headline number. Orders excluding transportation climbed 0.8%. Orders had risen a revised 1.7% in September and 1.2% in August. Despite the small drop in October, US manufacturers are growing rapidly. Orders are up 5.6% through the first 10 months of 2017 compared to the same period a year earlier. Factory shipments, meanwhile, rose 0.4% to mark the fifth gain in six months.
The Nasdaq dropped 72.22 points or 1.05 percent to 6,775.37, the S&P 500 edged lower by 2.78 points or 0.11 percent to 2,639.44, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 58.46 points or 0.24 percent to 24,290.05.