NEW YORK — U.S. stocks are slipping in early trading Monday, threatening to break a four-day rally that pushed indexes close to pre-recession highs.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 18 points at 13,575 at 11 a.m. EDT. The Standard & Poor's 500 fell two points to 1,464.The Nasdaq composite lost seven points to 3,177.
U.S. stocks are coming off a surge last week that sent the S&P 500 to its highest level in nearly five years. Investors bought stocks on news Thursday that the Federal Reserve planned to buy mortgage bonds in an effort to get people to borrow and spend more. Many believe central banks in Europe and Asia will follow suit.
In European trading, Germany's DAX fell 0.2 percent while France's CAC-40 dropped 0.7 percent.
Apple rose $7.34 to $698.62, a new high. The stock market's most valuable company said that preorders for its iPhone 5 are running at double the level of preorders for the previous version.
Office Depot Inc. rose 15 cents, or 6 percent, to $2.62 after an investment firm pushing for a shakeup at the office-supply chain announced it had become the retailer's largest shareholder. Office Depot has struggled recently because businesses have cut spending at its stores as the economy slowed.
In economic news, the Empire State Manufacturing Survey suggested that conditions for New York manufacturers continued to weaken in September.
The general business conditions index slipped five points to minus 10.4, its second consecutive negative reading. The new orders index fell nine points to minus 14.0, its third straight negative reading. Both reached their lowest levels in almost two years.
Also on Monday, China filed a World Trade Organization case challenging U.S. anti-dumping measures on billions of dollars of kitchen appliances, paper and other goods, further straining trade relations as global demand weakens.
Earlier, the Obama administration said it would file its own WTO case this week. It says China improperly subsidizes exports of cars and car parts.
On Tuesday, the National Association of Home Builders releases its survey for September sales. The government follows on Wednesday with data on both housing starts and existing home sales.