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US stocks close down despite oil gain; Greece eyed

Cashin says: The indecisive market

U.S. stocks closed down on Monday despite oil settling higher, as concerns about Greece continued to weigh.

"This is a day when we've concerned about global macro more than anything else," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities. "The market is under pressure for various reasons, none of them energy."

He cited continued uncertainty about Greece, the impact of a stronger dollar and concerns about West Coast port congestion as disturbing markets. President Barack Obama's announcement that he will ask Congress for new authority to use force against ISIS surprisingly did not to encourage markets, he said.

The energy sector was the only sector closing higher on the S&P 500. Chevron and Caterpillar led four blue chip gainers, including Exxon Mobil.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 130 points in early afternoon trade before coming off lows to close just under a 100 points lower, with Wal-Mart leading decliners.

"Overall we followed Europe (which closed lower)," said Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group. He also noted that oil came off highs around the same time as stocks declined.

Regressive analysis by Wunderlich Securities showed that since crude began its plunge last year, the S&P 500 has had a 0.70 correlation with crude, up from the low 0.03 correlation the two have had for the last 25 years.

The Dow Transports fell more than 1 percent, with the airlines among the greatest decliners.

In broader market news, Greece's new leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Sunday in his election pledge that he would end the country's "cruel" austerity program and ruled out an extension of international bailout. Starting Wednesday, Greek banks will not be able to use Greek government bonds as collateral in daily refinancing operations with the European Central Bank.

"The biggest story out there is the lack of any concrete work in Greek negotiations," Hogan said. It's "disappointing" for markets that "we're not moving forward in the Greek negotiation problem."

Shares on the Athens Stock Exchange tumbled about 5 percent on Monday.

"I think (Greece) is going to be an issue, causing volatility, not a huge selloff," said Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab.

The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, has come off the 20-level to more comfortable levels of 16-17, he said. The VIX held near 18 on Monday.

Read MoreForget rally, oil heading lower: Analyst

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) hiked its demand forecast for 2015, predicting that low prices would help boost demand later in the year. However, the organization still said in a report on Monday that oil demand growth was "yet to show any signs of accelerating."

Crude oil futures settled up $1.17, or 2.3 percent, at $52.86 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

"If you stabilize oil prices at these levels it lessens fear of deflation. I think that's an underlying positive for the market," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital.

Over the weekend, China reported that exports fell 3.3 percent in January from a year earlier, while imports slumped by 19.9 percent, both missing expectations by a wide margin, and resulting in a record monthly trade surplus of $60 billion.

"That of course is a negative because it weighs on the global economy," Cardillo said. "I think that probably may give investors (a buying) opportunity here in a choppy to negative session."

Read MoreEyes on the Fed, Greece after strong jobs report

U.S. stocks closed down on Friday, but ended the week significantly higher on stabilizing oil prices, amid continued concerns over Greece and a strong jobs report that renewed the possibility of an earlier Fed rate hike.

Major U.S. Indexes: DJIA, NCOMP, SPX

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 95.3 points, or 0.53 percent, at 17,729.15, with Wal-Mart leading decliners and Caterpillar the greatest blue chip advancer.

The closed down 8.77 points, or 0.43 percent, at 2,046.70, with energy the only advancer and health care leading decliners.

The Nasdaq closed down 18.3 points, or 0.39 percent, at 4,726.01.

Three stocks declined for every two advancers on the New York Stock Exchange, with an exchange volume of 736 million and a composite volume near 3.4 billion in the close.

High-frequency trading accounts for about 47.5 percent of trade volume this year, down from a peak of 61 percent in 2009, according to TABB Group estimates.

The U.S. 10-year Treasury note yield rose to 1.96 percent. The U.S. dollar reversed to edge higher against major world currencies.

Gold futures closed up $6.90, or about 0.50 percent, at $1,241.50 an ounce.

Read MoreNew York trader: Beware S&P 500's right shoulder

The fast-food giant McDonald's reported global same-store sales shrank 1.8 percent last month, which was worse than analysts had been expecting. The stock fell more than 1 percent on the news and was among the Dow laggards.

Microsoft was inundated with more than $26 billion of investor orders for a on Monday with buyside accounts attracted by what they described as extraordinarily generous new issue concessions for such a marquee issuer.

Apple plans to hold its first Swiss franc-denominated bond sale, according to the Wall Street Journal. The paper said the sale could come as soon as tomorrow, and the Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse will manage it.

Hasbro reported quarterly earnings of an adjusted $1.22 per share, beating estimates by one cent, with revenue slightly below forecasts. Hasbro said foreign exchange hurt fourth quarter revenue by more than $75 million dollars. Separately, Hasbro raised its quarterly dividend to 46 cents per share from 43 cents.

Masco earned an adjusted 24 cents per share for its latest quarter, four cents above estimates, with revenue slightly below Street forecasts. The maker of building products said it is benefiting from cost controls and better productivity.

CNA Financial, Lowes's largest subsidiary, reported a 10 percent fall in profit due to lower net written premiums.

Read MoreApple has 90% of smartphone profit

Computer Sciences, Credicorp and NetEase are all due after the bell.

Reuters and CNBC's Peter Schacknow contributed to this report.

On tap this week:


Earnings: Computer Sciences


Earnings: Coca-Cola, CVS Health, UBS, MolsonCoors Brewing, Reynolds American, Wyndham Worldwide, Dean Foods, Akamai

8:20 a.m.: Jeffrey Lacker speaks

9:00 a.m.: NFIB Small Biz Optimism Index

10:00 a.m.: JOLTS

10:00 a.m.: Wholesale trade

1:00 p.m.: 3-year note auction


Earnings: Mondelez Intl., PepsiCo, TimeWarner, Lorillard, Mosaic, Thomson Reuters, AOL, Generac, Baidu, Cisco Systems, MetLife, Applied Materials, CenturyLink, NetApp, Nvidia, Sun Life Financial, Tesla Motors, TripAdvisor, Whole Foods, Cheesecake Factory, FireEye, Panera Bread, Pilgrim's Pride, Select Comfort

7:00 a.m.: Mortgage applications

8:00 a.m.: Fed's Fischer speaks

10:30 a.m.: Oil inventories

1:00 p.m.: 10-year note auction

2:00 p.m.: Treasury budget


Earnings: Total, Advance Auto Parts, CreditSuisse, Dr Pepper Snapple, Hospira, Kellogg, McGraw-Hill Financial, Nielsen, Avon Products, AIG, CBS, DaVita, Digital Realty Trust, Kraft Foods, RepublicServices, Groupon, King Digital, Regal Entertainment, Shutterfly, Zynga

8:30 a.m.: Jobless claims

8:30 a.m.: Retail sales

10:00 a.m.: Business inventories

10:30 a.m.: Natural gas inventories

10:30 a.m.: Draghi speaks in Brussels

1:00 p.m.: 30-year bond auction

4:30 p.m.: Fed balance sheet/money supply


Earnings: ArcelorMittal, Brookfield Asset Management, J.M. Smucker

8:30 a.m.: Import and export prices

10:00 a.m.: Consumer sentiment

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