Investors looked warily at forecasts for poor U.S. corporate earnings and weaker growth in Asia and decided there wasn't much reason to buy stocks.
Companies in the S&P 500 index are expected to post an overall decline in profits for the first time in 11 quarters, according to FactSet. Also Monday, the World Bank warned that a "more pronounced slowdown" is possible in China, the world's second-largest economy. That could put a drag on the U.S.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 26.50 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 13,583.65.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 5.05 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,455.88.
The Nasdaq composite fell 23.84 points, or 0.8 percent, to 3,112.35.
For the year so far:
The Dow is up 1,366.09 points, or 11.2 percent.
The S&P 500 is up 198.28 points, or 15.8 percent.
The Nasdaq is up 507.20 points, or 19.5 percent.