In Greece, new Prime Minister Lucas Papademos—a former central banker who oversaw his country's entry to the euro zone in 2002—will have to win Wednesday's confidence vote in his cabinet before meeting euro zone finance ministers in Brussels on Thursday, state television reported.
“While economic numbers indicate that things are slowly getting better, fundamentals are being ridden by lack of direction in the euro zone," Katz added. "We also have a light-volume issue for the next six weeks or so.”
Credit Suisse fell after Moody's placed the banking giant's long-term rating on review, citing lackluster financial results.
Caterpillar gained after the heavy equipment maker said it will invest nearly $640 million to increase capacity for large mining trucks and tractors at two facilities in the U.S. Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs added the firm to its "conviction buy" list.
Fellow Dow component Bank of America said it reached an agreement to sell about 10.4 billion common shares of China Construction Bankthrough private transactions with a group of investors.
Boeing climbed to lead the blue-chip gainers after the aerospace and defense firm signed a $18 billion dealwith Emirates.
IBM finished flat after billionaire investor Warren Buffett told CNBC that his firm, Berkshire Hathaway , has purchased $10.7 billion worth of the tech giant's stock this year.
Among techs, Salesforce.com closed higher after Citigroup upgraded the cloud computing company to "buy" from "neutral," citing increasing confidence in the firm's long-term profitability potential.
Other Internet companies were trading higher, including Google , Amazon.com , Priceline and Baidu .
On the earnings front, JCPenney slipped after the clothing retailer posted a loss after same-store sales and gross margin declined. The firm also expects same-store sales for the holiday quarter to be flat.
Lowe's advanced after the home-improvement firm reported better-than-expected results and raised its full-year revenue outlook.
Urban Outfitters is scheduled to post earnings after-the-bell tonight. Home Depot and Wal-Mart are slated to report results on Tuesday morning.
—Follow JeeYeon Park on Twitter: twitter.com/JeeYeonParkCNBC—
On Tap This Week:
TUESDAY: Fed's Bullard speaks, Fed's Evans speaks, PPI, retail sales, Empire state mfg survey, Fed's Williams speaks, business inventories, Fed's Lacker speaks, Fed's Fisher speaks, Amazon's tablet ships, credit card default rates reported; Earnings from Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Staples, TJX, Beazer Homes, Dell
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage apps, CPI, industrial production, housing market index, oil inventories, Fed's Lacker speaks, Fed's Rosengren speaks, LA auto show; Earnings from Abercrombie & Fitch, Target, Applied Materials, Limited Brands, NetApp
THURSDAY: Housing starts, jobless claims, Philadelphia Fed survey, Fed's Pianalto speaks, Motorola Mobility votes on Google acquisition, GM IPO 1-year anniversary; Earnings from Dollar Tree, GameStop, Ross Stores, Sears, Gap, Marvell Tech
FRIDAY: Leading indicators; Earnings from Heinz
More From CNBC.com: