NEW YORK (AP) -- The U.S. stock market is falling in early trading to begin a week full of hints about the health of the nation's retailers.
Americans boosted spending at retail stores in April, according to the Commerce Department, surprising some economists. Earlier declines on major markets were cut in half after the report.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 27 points to 15,091, a decline of 0.2 percent, shortly after the market opened Monday. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index fell two points to 1,631, also down 0.2 percent.
The Nasdaq fell one point to 3,434.
A number of big chains are posting earnings this week, including beleaguered J.C. Penney.
Macy's posts earnings on Wednesday, followed by Wal-Mart, Nordstrom and J.C. Penney on Thursday.