"There is a sense that the fundamentals in the marketplace haven't caught up with the technical rally that we got in March," said Dan Deming, a trader with Strutland Equities in Chicago.
U.S. markets are catching up after being closed Friday for the July Fourth holiday. On Thursday, stocks fell sharply in response to the Labor Department employment numbers, pushing major indexes down more than 2%.
Three stocks fell for every two that rose on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 1.1 billion shares, compared with a light 733.6 million traded Thursday.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 3.18, or 0.6%, to 494.03.
Bond prices were mixed. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was flat at 3.50%, and the yield on the three-month T-bill rose to 0.16% from 0.15% late Thursday.
The dollar was mixed against other major currencies, while gold prices also rose.
Overseas, Britain's FTSE 100 fell 1%, Germany's DAX index fell 1.2%, and France's CAC-40 slid 1.1%. Japan's Nikkei stock average fell 1.4%.