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Wall St ends lower as energy shares fall

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Wall Street has ended lower after a choppy session, with declines in energy companies weighing against a rise in Boeing shares as investors digested the US stock market's biggest monthly gains in two years.

Stocks gave up some of a strong rally from last week that was driven by bets the Federal Reserve may not need to be as aggressive with interest rate hikes as some had feared.

Also helped by stronger than expected second-quarter results, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq in July posted their biggest monthly percentage gains since 2020.

The S&P 500 bounced between gains and declines on Monday as some investors became more cautious after that recent rally.

The Federal Reserve says it aims to tame inflation and cool down demand with the interest rate hikes but some investors and analysts worry that its aggressive moves could drive up unemployment and cripple the economy.

"There are still a lot of questions about whether we are really out of the woods economically, and we probably aren't," said Tom Martin, senior portfolio manager at GLOBALT Investments in Atlanta.

"We're not even close on the (economic) effects of the Fed raising interest rates."

US manufacturing activity slowed less than expected in July, with signs that supply constraints are easing, a report showed.

That data came on the heels of surveys indicating factories across Asia and Europe struggled for momentum in July as flagging global demand and China's strict COVID-19 curbs slowed production.

Oil prices fell on demand concerns, which in turn weighed on the energy sector.

The S&P 500 energy index tumbled and was the deepest decliner among 11 sectors.

A monthly US jobs report on Friday will be parsed for clues about the Fed's next moves in its fight against decades-high inflation.

The US central bank has raised interest rates by 2.25 percentage points so far this year and has vowed to be data-driven in its approach toward future hikes.

Boeing Co gained after Reuters reported the US aviation regulator approved the plane maker's inspection and modification plan to resume deliveries of 787 Dreamliners.

The S&P 500 is down about 14 per cent in 2022, however the earnings season has showed companies were far more resilient in the second quarter than estimated.

Of 283 S&P 500 companies that have reported results, 78 per cent have topped profit estimates, as per Refinitiv data.

The long-term average is 66 per cent.

The S&P 500 lost 11.76 points, or 0.29 per cent, to end at 4,118.53 points, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 20.69 points, or 0.17 per cent, to 12,370.00 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 49.88 points, or 0.15 per cent, to 32,795.25.

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi was set to visit Taiwan on Tuesday.

China warned that its military would never "sit idly by" if she visited the self-ruled island claimed by officials in Beijing.

PerkinElmer Inc jumped after the medical diagnostic firm said it will sell some of its businesses along with the brand name to private equity firm New Mountain Capital for up to $US2.45 billion ($A3.48 billion) in cash.

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