The latest manufacturing data released Monday from an industry report showed the pace of growth in the sector unexpectedly slowed in May.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity fell to 53.2 last month from 54.9 in April, missing Wall Street estimates. Economists polled by Reuters forecast a reading of 55.5.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while below 50 indicates contraction.
As of 10:04 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 9.2 points, or 0.06 percent to 16707, the S&P 500 dipped 4.6 points, or 0.24 percent to 1919 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 24.8 points, or 0.59 percent to 4218.
The employment subindex dropped to 51.9 in May from 54.7 the prior month, also missing economists’ expectations for 55.0. However, the gauge of prices paid increased sharply to 60.0 from 56.5, coming in above the 57.0 forecast by economists.
Meanwhile, new orders fell to 53.3 from 55.1.
The report comes ahead of a slew of data on the labor market, capped with the Labor Department’s monthly jobs report, due out on Friday.
U.S. crude oil futures rose 3 cents, or 0.03 percent to $102.74 a barrel, while Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline dipped 0.57 percent to $3 a gallon. Gold rose $1.50, or 0.11 percent to $1,247 a troy ounce.