The Dow Jones industrial average fell 8.21 points, or 0.06 percent, to 13,352.05. The Standard & Poor's 500 lost 4.82 points, or 0.32 percent, to 1,497.74. The Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 11.88 points, or 0.46 percent, to 2,577.08.
"It's the headline risk with the subprime woes" that negatively affected stocks, Jim Herrick, Robert W. Baird head trader, told The Wall Street Journal. "Rumors are that there are more issues on the horizon," beyond the recent troubles of two Bear Stearns hedge funds facing steep losses in the subprime market.
On the New York Stock Exchange Monday, 1,019 stocks gained and 2,310 declined, on volume of 1.74 billion shares traded.
The 10-year U.S. Treasury note was up $3.125 for every $1,000 invested to yield 5.093 percent Monday.
The dollar closed mixed. The euro was at $1.3463 Monday from $1.3467 Friday, while the dollar was at 123.58 yen from 123.81 yen.
The Nikkei 225 Average finished the day 0.6 percent lower at 18,087.
The FTSE 100 Index in Britain declined 0.3 percent to 6,551.20.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]