Semiconductor stocks fell Monday in the first trading session of the year with new industry data showing only modest chip sales growth in November.Altera ( ALTR) dropped 3% to $20.06, while AMD ( AMD), Freescale ( FSL), Marvell ( MRVL), Micron ( MU), and National Semiconductor ( NSM) shed about 2% each. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index lost 1.6% to 426.2 to start the new year. Global semiconductor sales rose only 1.3% to $19 billion in November from October, according to data released Friday by trade group Semiconductor Industry Association. Factory use fell but remained above 90%. The final months of a year are typically the strongest for chip sales as consumers spend heavily on electronics products. The SIA said PC sales seemed to track a seasonal pattern in the fourth quarter. Excess inventories, according to the SIA, should no longer be a problem at the end of the first quarter. Analyst Eric Ross with ThinkEquity Partners said the latest data indicate an industrywide sales drop of 5% to 10% in the fourth quarter from the third quarter compared with a normal increase of 10%, according to a morning research report. As for the new year, Ross isn't expecting much. He predicted flat global sales, with most of the weakness in the first half of the year.