The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 26.41 points, or 0.21 percent, to close at 12,393.45. Caterpillar led the laggards, while BofA gained. The blue-chip index failed to log a two-day win streak this month.
The S&P 500 dipped 2.99 points, or 0.23 percent, to end at 1,310.33. The Nasdaq slid 10.02 points, or 0.35 percent, to finish at 2,827.34.
For the month, the Dow and the S&P 500 dropped more than 6 percent, while the Nasdaq plunged nearly 7 percent. The Dow and Nasdaq posted their worst monthly declines since May 2010, while the S&P posted its biggest one-month drop since last September.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, slipped below 24.
Among the key S&P sectors, techs closed lower, while financials climbed.
Stocks started the session lower following a batch of dismal economic reports but cut their losses around noon after a report that the IMF was in talks to provide a rescue loan to Spain. However, the IMF quickly denied the report and said the annual economic talks between the IMF and Spanish authorities will take place next week.
“We’re far from seeing any clarity from Europe, [but] central banks in general are helping to limit our downside,” said Rebecca Patterson, chief market strategist of JPMorgan Asset Management. “[Still,] we need better economic data, Greece resolved and I don’t see any of that happening in the short term.”
On the economic front, weekly jobless claims gained for the fourth-straight week, according to the Labor Department. And the U.S. economy grew at a slower pace than expected in the first quarter, according to the Commerce Department. And business activity in the Midwest slipped in May, according to the Chicago ISM.
Adding to woes, private-sector jobs growth came in at a disappointingly weak 133,000from April to May, according to ADP and Macroeconomic Advisors.
The reports come a day ahead of the widely-followed May government jobs. Non-farm payrolls are expected to show a gain of 150,000 in May, according to a Reuters poll, after a small gain of 115,000 new jobs in April, the fewest in six months.