U.S. stocks fell on Monday as weak industrial data from Europe coupled with ongoing debt crisis caused recession fears.
Industrial production in the eurozone fell 2.0 percent in September, the most since early 2009, according to data from the European Union's statistics office. This added to recession fears in the 17-country bloc.
European debt crisis continued to weigh on markets. Italy's five-year government bond yield surged to euro-era high on Monday even though Mario Monti, former European Commissioner became the new leader for the debt-burdened country. This indicated lack of confidence in Italy's creditability.
In Greece, new Prime Minister Lucas Papademos will face confidence vote in his cabinet on Wednesday. Uncertainties about Athen's future lingered.
Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Europe was facing "the toughest time since World War II," advocating a deepening political union in euro zone.
All ten S&P sectors finished in negative territory, led by financials and energy.
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 74.70 points, or 0.61 percent, to 12,078.98. The Standard & Poor's 500 was down 12.07 points, or 0.95 percent, to 1,251.78. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 21.53 points, or 0.80 percent, to 2,657.22.