U.S. stocks extended losses in choppy trading on Monday following Friday's slip, as shock from Cyprus gave investors an excuse to sell off after recent strong equity rally.
The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 62.05 points, or 0.43 percent, to 14,452.06. The broader Standard & Poor's 500- stock Index shed 8.60 points, or 0.55 percent, to 1,552.10. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index gave up 11.48 points, or 0.35 percent, to 3,237.59.
"I think initial news of the Cyprus bailout sent markets in Europe and Asia sharply lower mainly based on the fear of this spreading to other euro nations and bringing back to the forefront concern over the eurozone debt crisis," Gregory J. Keating, managing director of New York-based James E. Coffey Securities Inc, told Xinhua Monday.
The main stock indices opened sharply lower, following a slide in global equity market, hit by Cyprus' plan to vote on a one-off levy on bank deposits as part of a financial bailout.
On Monday, Cyprus postponed a debate on the levy in its Parliament for another day, as the government sought more time to consolidate support for the tax.
"The U.S. markets are lower but not nearly as lower because I believe there is a growing sense that there will be a revised bailout leading to more favorable results in Cyprus," Keating added.
The market rebounded in the morning session, recouping some losses, as Goldman Sachs equity strategist David Kostin raised the bank's year-end target for S&P 500 to 1,625 points from 1,575 points in a note to clients Monday morning.
However, the stocks fell again in the last trading hour.
On the economic front, U.S. builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes paused for a third consecutive month in March, with a fall of two points to 44 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index released Monday.
Financial shares led losses among the main sectors in the S&P 500. Shares of Bank of America dipped 0.08 percent to close at 12. 56 dollars a share. Citigroup shares lost 2.16 percent to 46.24 dollars per share, while Morgan Stanley shares dropped 2.54 percent to 22.99 dollars.
"The market was destined for a pullback and I think investors see this news as a time to take some bets off the table," Keating predicted.
Wall Street pulled back Friday on disappointing consumer sentiment, with the Dow snapping a 10-session winning streak not seen since November 1996.
On other markets, the euro slumped against its major counterparts as chaos in Cyprus boosted fears over the debt crisis in the 17-country bloc.
Gold futures settled above 1,600 dollars per ounce as investors opt for the safe haven on worries over Cyprus.
The U.S. oil price pared early losses and gained on Monday after concerns over the bailout plan for Cyprus eased.
Light, sweet crude for April delivery rose 29 cents, or 0.31 percent, to settle at 93.74 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for April delivery fell 31 cents, or 0.28 percent, to close at 109.51 dollars a barrel.