U.S. stocks slipped as concern that economic statistics will point to sustained inflation and slower growth curtailed the market's three-week rally.

Automakers fell as General Motors started a round of incentives to combat slowing demand, and retailers gained in response to sales growth at Wal-Mart Stores and higher-than-forecast profit at Lowe's. Paper companies rallied after Koch Industries agreed to buy Georgia-Pacific.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 11.13, or 0.1 percent, to 10,697.17, as shares of Wal-Mart and Home Depot climbed. A decline in shares of Abbott Laboratories weighed on the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index, which slipped 1.01, or 0.1 percent, to 1233.71.

The Nasdaq composite index fell 1.52, or 0.1 percent, to 2200.95, as drugmakers Biogen Idec and Gilead Sciences dropped.

Government reports on producer prices and retail sales are due today, and figures on consumer prices, manufacturing and housing starts are coming later this week. They may dictate the market's course because more than 90 percent of companies in the S&P 500 have reported third-quarter results.


GM fell for a fourth day in five, losing 74 cents, to $23.74. Auto stocks followed GM's lead. DaimlerChrysler fell 10 cents, to $50.07. Ford Motor slipped 4 cents, to $7.93.

Wal-Mart added 30 cents, to $49.30, as it said third-quarter U.S. sales at stores open at least a year rose 3.8 percent.

Lowe's, the No. 2 home-improvement retailer, added $2.92 to reach $64.89. Profit topped analysts' estimates as consumers spent more remodeling their homes. Home Depot was the best performer in the Dow average, gaining 66 cents, to $42.57.

Georgia-Pacific, the biggest tissue maker, soared $12.63, or 36 percent, to $47.28, for the best performance in the S&P 500 after Koch agreed to buy the company for $48 a share.

Knight Ridder, the fourth-largest U.S. newspaper publisher, rose 23 cents, to $63.10, as it said it hired Goldman Sachs to explore "strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value."


New York Stock Exchange composite index fell 12.23, to 7549.17.

American Stock Exchange index rose 3.15, to 1699.73.

Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 0.27, to 666.93.


NYSE: 1.93 billion shares, up from 1.78 billion on Friday. Decliners outnumbered advancers 5 to 3.

Nasdaq: 1.41 billion shares, down from 1.45 billion. Decliners outnumbered advancers 4 to 3.


Crude oil for December delivery: $57.69, up 16 cents.

Gold for current delivery: $468.20 a troy ounce, down from $468.30 on Friday.