The S&P 500 index retreated from its record-high closing Friday, ending the day down 0.05 percent at 1,877.17, whereas the Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.2% to 16,418.68.
Data that showed Chinese exports had dropped 18.1 percent in February, against expectations for a 7.5 percent rise, added to concerns of a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy, causing markets to tumble earlier in the day. Japan also revised its growth numbers for the fourth quarter to 0.7 percent from 1 percent.
This also caused Asian markets to end lower than their closing levels last week -- the Japanese Nikkei 225 slid 1 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 1.8 percent and the Shanghai Shenzhen 300 tumbled 3.3 percent.
"Growth concerns came back to the fore in Asia," Barclays told clients in an early-morning research note.
In U.S. markets, Boeing saw its shares fall 1.8 percent after it reported cracks in some 787 Dreamliner jets, causing it to delay certain deliveries. Investors and analysts are closely watching the developments in Ukraine after Russia threatened to stop oil and gas supplies to the beleaguered nation.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]