Also weighing on the market, the Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend that the Federal Reserve may be getting ready to scale back its $85 billion-a-month bond-buying program in careful steps, although the timing of when that will start is still being debated.
"The Fed starts telegraphing the punch ahead of time—[the WSJ report] may be the first signal that QE is going to end sometime down the road," said Battle. "We're also going to have to see if the 10-year holds near 2 percent—if the Fed loses control, then that also has direct consequences for the housing market as it dictates mortgage rates."
Bernanke is expected to speak on the economy before the Joint Economic Committee of Congress on May 22.
Fed officials scheduled to speak this week include Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker, Fed Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin and Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota.
"In addition, people are also looking at the way the yen is getting destroyed in the forex market—Japanese bonds are selling off," said Battle.
The dollar extended its gains, hitting its highest level against the yen since October 2008 after the G-7 finance officials gave Japan's ultra-loose monetary policies the green light at a meeting over the weekend. The Dollar index is up for the third-consecutive session, gaining more than 1.5 percent in that time, the best three-day winning streak since last April.
On the economic front, retail sales unexpectedly rose 0.1 percent in April, according to the Commerce Department, after a revised 0.5 percent decline in March. Economists surveyed by Reuters had expected sales to slip 0.3 percent.
"Retail sales expanded solidly in April and the figures for both February and March were revised higher," wrote Michael Feroli of JPMorgan in a note following the report. "While it is still early in the quarter, the risks to our previous projection of 1.5 percent real GDP growth in the second quarter are unbalanced, and we are revising our estimate up to 2.0 percent."
And business inventories for March were virtually unchanged at a seasonally adjusted $1.270 trillion, according to the Commerce Department. Economists expected a gain of 0.3 percent, according to Reuters, versus a 0.1 percent rise in February.