Stocks came off their worst levels but still closed lower Monday as investors took a breather following the recent market rally and amid ongoing debt negotiations in Greece over a fresh austerity package.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 17.10 points, or 0.13 percent, to finish at 12,845.13, led by Travelers and Pfizer .
The S&P 500 slipped 0.57 points, or 0.04 percent, to close at 1,344.33. The Nasdaq edged down 3.67 points, or 0.13 percent, to end at 2,901.99. Interestingly, the S&P has ended down 4 of the last 5 Mondays following the Super Bowl.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, ended near 18.
Most S&P sectors closed lower, led by materials and financials, while energy edged higher.
Greece failed to meet another deadlineMonday to strike a deal to secure the 130 billion euro ($170 billion) rescue, pushing the debt-ridden nation closer to a default, which could threaten other euro zone nations.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel stepped up pressure on Greece, warning that time was running short. (Read More: Greek Default—Why Now May Be the Best Time to Just Do It)
“The geopolitical world is an absolute stew of troubles,” said Art Cashin, director of floor operations at UBS Financial Services. “Egypt is beginning to unwind a little bit again, [there are also concerns over] Iran and Israel…you’ve got a lot of things out there to worry about beside whether you’re going to make your earnings target.”