New York Federal Reserve Bank President said in a speech in New York that that he was looking for a lower unemployment rate and recovery with sustainable momentum before he switched his stance on continuing with the Fed's quantitative easing program. Some analysts have said that the Fed's surprise announcement last week undermined the central bank's credibility on forward guidance.
The Fed has said it would likely keep its monetary policies intact until the unemployment rate reaches 6.5 percent.
On Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average shed 0.32 percent, 49.71 points, to 15,401.38. The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 0.47 percent, giving up 8.07 points to 1,701.84. The tech-dominated Nasdaq composite index gave up 0.25 percent, 9.44 points, to close at 3,765.29.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 1,287 stocks advanced and 2,761 declined on a volume of 3.1 billion shares traded.
Ten-year U.S. treasuries rose 9/32 to yield 2.703 percent.
The euro held steady at $1.3493, while the dollar rose to 98.86 yen.
In Britain, the FTSE 100 index shed 39.06 points, 0.59 percent, to close at 6,557.37.
Gold dropped 0.71 percent, giving up $9.60 to reach $1,322.90 per troy ounce on the Comex division of the NYMEX. Silver dropped 1.19 percent, losing 26.5 cents to reach $21.665 per ounce.
In late trading, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for November delivery dropped 1.25 percent, giving up $1.31 to reach $103.44 per barrel.
On the Chicago Board of trade, corn for December delivery added 2 1/4 cents to $4.53 1/4 per bushel. Soybeans for November shed 8 1/4 cents to settle at $13.07. Wheat closed at $6.54, up 7 3/4.