Stocks eased off their session lows but still ended in negative territory Monday, with the S&P 500 snapping a six-day winning streak, amid ongoing worries over a global economic slowdown.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 38.52 points, or 0.29 percent, to close at 13,169.43, led by Cisco and Alcoa .
The S&P 500 erased 1.76 points, or 0.13 percent, to finish at 1,404.11, breaking its longest winning streak since December 2010. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq squeezed out a gain of 1.66 points, or 0.05 percent, to end at 3,022.52.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, fell below 14 to its lowest level in almost five years.
Most key S&P sectors ended in the red, led by materials, while techs pulled off a small gain.
Both NYSE floor and total volume settle at their lightest level in 2012. Roughly 484 million shares changed hands on the NYSE floor. NYSE total volume, or consolidated tape, ended at 2.4 billion shares—well below its 2012 daily average of 3.6 billion shares.
“On the margin, the U.S. looks a little bit better than many of the international markets including some of the emerging markets,” said Jason Pride, director of investment strategy at Glenmede. “[But] on a longer-term basis, we’re still going to go through the same deleveraging that much of Europe is going through and we’re going to see some weakness because of that."
Stocks opened lower following news that Japan’s economy grew a tepid 0.3 percent in the second quarter, much weaker than expectations for a rise of 0.6 percent and a sharp slowdown from growth of 1.3 percent in the previous quarter. (Read More: What Japan Should Do)
And adding to global economic woes, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch cut its 2012 growth estimate for China, to 7.7 percent from 8 percent.
However, San Francisco Federal Reserve President John Williams advocated a fresh round of bond-buying to decrease unemployment at a faster rate late last week, continuing to give hope to investors.
And with no economic reports on the calendar Monday, investors will look to the rest of the busy week for more direction.
Among earnings, Groupon is scheduled to report after the closing bell. The daily-deal website shares have lost more than two-thirds of its valuation since its $20 IPO price last November. Investors have been cautious on Grouponamid worries over the company's growth potential and questions.
Shares of other recently-debuted social-media stocks have been punished. Facebook is currently down nearly 40 percent below its IPO price, while Zynga has lost more than 70 percent of its initial value. (Read More: Could Facebook Shares Face New Wave of Selling?)
Google announced it will cut 20 percent of Motorola Mobility's workforceand will shut down close to a third of the cellphone maker's 94 offices worldwide. Google acquired Motorola Mobility in May. Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley raised its rating on Google to "overweight."
On the M&A front, Tesoro rallied to lead the S&P 500 gainers after the energy company said it will acquire BP's refinery in Carson, California, and related assets for about $2.5 billion.
Focus Media soared after the Chinese display-advertising provider received a $35 billion bid to go private.
FedEx said it will offer buyoutsto U.S. employees in an effort to reduce costs as the economy remains weak.
Barnes & Noble reduced prices on its Nook e-reader and tabletsahead of the peak of the back to school season and amid speculation that rival Amazon.com is preparing to launch a new version of its Kindle Fire tablet.
JCPenney slipped after Piper Jaffray cut its rating on the company to "neutral" from "overweight" and slashed its price target to $25 from $50. Meanwhile, Citigroup raised its price target to $28 from $24.
Manchester United closed higher on its second day of trading after finishing flat at $14 in its debut last Friday.
—By CNBC’s JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC)
Coming Up This Week:
TUESDAY: NFIB small biz optimism index, PPI, retail sales, business inventories, 13-F filings due; Earnings from Home Depot, TJX
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage apps, CPI, Empire state mfg survey, Treasury int'l capital, industrial production housing market index, oil inventories, Fed's Kocherlakota speaks, credit card default rates reported, Facebook lock-up expiration, Forest Labs shareholders mtg; Earnings from Deere, Target, Cisco, Applied Materials, Limited Brands
THURSDAY: Housing starts, jobless claims, Philadelphia Fed survey, e-commerce retail sales, Fed's Kocherlakota speaks; Earnings from Wal-Mart, Dollar Tree, Sears, Ross Stores, Aeropostale, Gap
FRIDAY: Consumer sentiment, leading indicators; Earnings from Ann, JM Smuckers, Foot Locker
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