U.S. stocks fell on Monday, with small companies taking it on the chin, as China signaled it would not boost stimulus and after home sales unexpectedly declined in August.
"The comments from the Chinese finance minister were not particularly hopeful," said Cameron Hinds, regional chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank, referring to comments by Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei that Beijing would not make big changes in response to one economic indicator, curbing thinking that softer economic readings would prompt additional stimulus from the central government.
Apple rose after the technology giant reported weekend sales of the latest versions of its iPhone topped 10 million. Yahoo shares fell after Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Sanford Bernstein downgraded its shares after Friday's market debut by Alibaba Group Holding. Dresser-Rand Group rose after Germany's Siemens said it would acquire the maker of oilfield-equipment maker for $7.6 billion.
The Russell 2000 Index of small caps dropped 1.6 percent, with Carbo Ceramics among the biggest decliners. The supplier to the oil-and-gas industry projected sales of ceramic proppant would fall in the third quarter.
Already in the red, equities steepened their slide after the National Association of Realtors reported sales of previously owned homes declined 1.8 percent last month.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago on Friday reported U.S. economic activity declined in August.
Speaking at Bloomberg Markets Most Influential Summit in New York, Fed Bank of New York President William Dudley said the central bank's rate guidance is not written in stone and reiterated the Fed's monetary policy remains data dependent.