NEW YORK - US stocks closed lower on Monday after starting the day at record highs, weighed down by the tech and industrial sectors, while US Treasury prices inched higher in thin volume.
General Electric tumbled 6.3 percent after some research analysts lowered their price targets on the stock, citing higher chances of a dividend cut at the industrial conglomerate.
US Treasury prices rose slightly, tracking gains in the European bond market. Investors added to their positions after a sell-off the last few days ahead of this week's debt auctions and a European Central Bank monetary policy meeting.
Benchmark 10-year US Treasury notes were last up 3/32 in price to yield 2.3719 percent, from 2.381 percent late on Friday. The 30-year bond were last up 4/32 to yield 2.8873 percent, from 2.894 percent late on Friday.
Wall Street opened at record highs following Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's emphatic win in weekend polls. The victory also sent the dollar to a 3-month high against the yen, as investors bet the win would mean a continuation of "Abenomics," the ultra-loose policies that have kept downward pressure on the yen.
The Japanese yen strengthened 0.16 percent versus the greenback at 113.35 yen per dollar.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 54.67 points, or 0.23 percent, to end at 23,273.96, the S&P 500 lost 10.23 points, or 0.40 percent, to 2,564.98 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 42.23 points, or 0.64 percent, to 6,586.83.
Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial, headquartered in Newark, New Jersey, said the market was not down in a "meaningful" way, but taking a pause.
"This is the week for earnings," she said. "The market basically wants to ascertain that they’re going to see top-line revenue growth and bottom-line performance before they commit themselves."
Corporate earnings have gotten off to a strong start, with 73.2 percent of the 97 S&P companies beating profit expectations versus a 72-percent beat rate over the past four quarters.
European STOXX 600 shares rose 0.16 percent, although Madrid's bourse IBEX shed 0.6 percent, as Spain's crisis entered another week.
Madrid took the unprecedented step of firing the government of Catalonia on Saturday in a last resort to thwart its push for independence. Catalan leaders called for civil disobedience in response.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.11 percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.28 percent.
Japan's Nikkei rose 1.11 percent. Emerging market stocks lost 0.34 percent. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 0.23 percent lower.
Argentina's stocks jumped as investors bet a strong electoral performance from President Mauricio Macri's coalition could boost his reform agenda.
Argentina's benchmark Merval index rose 3.1 percent.
Gold prices touched a more than two-week low before paring losses as chart signals helped offset pressure from a stronger dollar and an early advance in equities.
Spot gold added 0.2 percent to $1,282.47 an ounce. US gold futures gained 0.26 percent to $1,283.80 an ounce.