Stocks closed lower Monday, as concerns about slowing growth in East Asia and Europe kept investors quiet on a relatively slow day of trading.
In the morning, the World Bank lowered its outlook for economic growth in Asia to 7.2 percent, down from the 7.6 percent estimate it made in May. The institution also warned that worsening conditions in Europe could reduce Asian gross domestic product (GDP) by 2 percent next year.
The news was the latest in a recent series of contradictory reports about the health of consumers and the global economy. Investors also are becoming increasingly worried about a potentially disappointing corporate earnings season, which begins Tuesday.
The unofficial release of a U.S. congressional committee draft report warned against doing business with Chinese telecommunications companies Huawei and ZTE. Both firms seek to expand operations in the United States, and the report details national-security concerns because of the companiesâ€™ ties to the Chinese government.
There was no U.S. economic news released on the Columbus Day holiday. The dollar rose versus the euro but fell versus the yen. Light sweet crude for November delivery fell 55 cents to $89.33 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold futures fell $5.10 to 1,775.70 an ounce.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 26.5, or 0.2 percent, to 13,583.65. The broader Standard & Poorâ€™s 500 index fell 5.05, or 0.35 percent, to 1,455.88.
The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index fell 23.84, or 0.8 percent, to 3,112.35. Netflix shares gained more than 10 percent after a brokerage upgraded the stock. Apple shares fell slightly as thousands of workers at Foxconn went on strike to protest working conditions on the iPhone 5 production lines.
Shares of Marathon Petroleum rose 3 percent after the refiner announced plans to buy $2.5 billion of BP assets in Texas. Shares of UnitedHealth Group rose after the health-insurance giant announced a nearly $5 billion buyout of Brazilâ€™s largest healthcare company, Amil.