Fed officials are meeting later this week for their annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo. A succession of hints from Fed officials and improvised speculation -- educated guesses -- also point to a possible Fed pull back from easy money policy.
The Dow Jones industrial average, which dropped 2.2 percent in last week, lost 0.47 percent Monday or 70.73 points to close at 15,010.74.
The Standard & Poor's 500 gave up 0.59 percent or 9.77 points to close at 1,646.06. The tech-heavy Nasdaq index shed 0.38 percent or 13.69 points to close at 3,589.09.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 591 stocks advanced and 2,536 declined on volume of 2.8 billion shares.
In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 0.79 percent or 108.02 points to 13,758.13. In Europe, the FTSE 100 index in Britain gave up 0.53 percent or 34.26 points to 6,465.73.
Elsewhere, markets were mostly lower, falling 2.46 percent on the FTSE MIB index in Italy, 1.56 percent on the S&P BSE Sensex index in India and 1.17 percent on Canada's S&P/TSX index.
China's Shanghai composite index rose 0.83 percent, adding 17.15 points to 2,085.60, representing a maverick index for the day.
The 10-year U.S. treasury note shed 14/32 to yield 2.879 percent.
In after-hours trading, crude oil was off 52 cents to $106.77 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
On the Comex division, gold gave up $5.30 to close at $1,365.70 per troy ounce and silver lost 17.2 cents to close at $23.20.
The euro fell against the dollar to $1.3338 while the dollar fell to 97.56 yen.
On the Chicago Board of Trade December corn added 22 1/4 cents to $4.85 3/4 a bushel, November soybeans added 43 3/4 cents to $13.03 and December wheat gained 9 cents to $6.52 1/2.
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