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Stocks close narrowly mixed; Apple off more than 3%

U.S. stocks closed narrowly mixed Monday, holding most of last week's gains, as investors readied for another week of earnings and central bank announcements.

It's "just a little profit taking ahead of big earnings and data tomorrow," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital.

Apple closed down more than 3 percent ahead of its earnings report due after the close Tuesday. Chevron declined 2.7 percent to join Apple as the greatest weights on the Dow Jones industrial average. The S&P 500 held mildly lower as the energy sector lagged. ( Tweet This )

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Also pressuring the iPhone maker's stock was Monday news that supplier Dialog Semiconductor reported preliminary earnings and guidance that missed expectations, according to Street Account. Shares of Dialog plunged 20 percent in London trade.

It "suggests Apple's fourth-quarter units may not be as strong as many expect," said Brian Blair, principal and co-founder of Grays Peak Capital.

Despite the decline in Apple, the Nasdaq composite eked out a slight gain as most tech stocks advanced and the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) closed up 0.4 percent.

Shares of Alphabet, Google's holding company, closed about 1.5 percent higher. Microsoft rallied 2.6 percent and Facebook and Amazon ended up about 1.6 percent.

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Stocks rallied last week, with the S&P 500 ending in positive territory for 2015, after hints of further stimulus from the European Central Bank Thursday and a surprise rate cut by the People's Bank of China Friday.

The rally in stocks last week "was all about monetary policy and earnings and it's going to be the same this week," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.

"At the levels we're at in the S&P we're going to need a new catalyst to move us forward," he said. "We know this week we'll have to see significant data and earnings to move forward from here."

European equities closed lower Monday, while most Asian stocks closed mildly higher. The Hang Seng ended a touch lower.

"I think this is a pattern we've seen for the past three weeks where we see a bit of profit taking at the beginning of the week," said Marc Chaikin, CEO of Chaikin Analytics.

In U.S. economic news, September new home sales fell 11.5 percent to near a one-year low after two straight months of gains, Reuters said.

Durable goods orders and consumer confidence are among the data expected Tuesday.

Treasury yields held lower, with the 10-year yield at 2.06 percent and the 2-year yield at 0.64 percent.

The U.S. dollar traded lower against major world currencies, with the euro at $1.10 and the yen at 121.02 yen against the dollar.

"Of all the uncertainties out there the biggest one is probably the Fed statement on Wednesday," said David Kelly, chief global strategist at JP Morgan Funds. "Most of the important numbers don't come out until the Fed meets. I don't expect anything out of the Fed but they may make their statement more hawkish and raise expectations they may raise rates this year. It'll be interesting to see whether the Federal Reserve acknowledges that financial markets have recovered."

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The Federal Open Market Committee kicks off its two-day meeting Tuesday and is scheduled to release its statement Wednesday afternoon.

Investors will also eye the Bank of Japan meeting later in the week for any announcements on further stimulus.

"Whatever happens this week it will be the end of the week that brings the fireworks," Kelly said.

He added that Wall Street will watch for any headlines from Washington on the debt ceiling as the early November deadline approaches.

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In corporate news, NYSE owner Intercontinental Exchange announced it will acquire Interactive Data Corporation for about $5.2 billion. Shares of ICE closed about half a percent lower.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals said it has formed a committee to review allegations against the company. The firm's CEO also asked the SEC to investigate Citron Research.

Xerox closed down 3 percent after reporting earnings that topped estimates but revenue that missed. The office solutions company's results were hurt by lower printer sales and a strong dollar, and said it would conduct a review of its business operations.

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Firms expected to report after the close include AvalonBay, Broadcom, Edwards Lifesciences, Everest Re, Hartford Fincl., and Cheesecake Factory.

Key earnings for the week include Apple and Alibaba on Tuesday, and Starbucks and Exxon Mobil later in the week.

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
DJIA
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S&P 500
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NASDAQ
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 23.65 points, or 0.13 percent, at 17,623.05, with Apple the greatest laggard and Microsoft leading advancers.

The S&P 500 closed down 3.97 points, or 0.19 percent, at 2,071.18, with energy leading seven sectors lower and consumer discretionary the greatest gainer.

The Nasdaq closed up 2.84 points, or 0.06 percent, at 5,034.70.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, held near 15.

About three stocks declined for every two advancers on the New York Stock Exchange, with an exchange volume of 840 million and a composite volume of nearly 3.4 billion in the close.

Crude oil futures settled down 62 cents, or 1.39 percent, at $43.98 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold futures ended up $3.40 at $1,166.20 an ounce.

CNBC's Peter Schacknow contributed to this report.

On tap this week:

Monday

Earnings: Cheesecake Factory, Luxottica, Novocure, Rent-A-Center, Everest Re, Broadcom, Hartford Financial, Check Point Software

Tuesday

Fed begins two-day meeting

Earnings: Apple, Merck, Pfizer, Comcast, KKR, Twitter, Panera Bread, Coach, Novartis, UPS, Ford, DuPont, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Alibaba, AK Steel, Anadarko, Teradyne, Aflac, Peabody Energy, Baxter, Airgas, Corning, Cummins, Canadian National Railway, Spirit Airlines, JetBlue, Restaurant Brands, TD Ameritrade, BE Aerospace, Reynolds America, Wyndham Worldwide

8:30 a.m.: Durable goods

9 a.m.: S&P Case-Shiller HPI

10 a.m.: Consumer confidence

Wednesday

Second day of Fed meeting

Earnings: GlaxoSmithKline, Deutsche Bank, Fiat Chrysler, Mondelez, Volkswagen, Amgen, F5 Networks, GoPro, Marriott, Vertex, Imax, LaQuinta, First Data, Buffalo Wild Wings, Western Digital, Anthem, Norfolk Southern, Northrop Grumman, Nintendo, Hershey, Yelp, Paypal, Valero Energy, Southern Co., Federal-Mogul, Generac, Timken, PG&E

2 p.m.: FOMC statement

Thursday

Earnings: Barclays, Royal Dutch Shell, MasterCard, Baidu, Starbucks, Sanofi, ConocoPhillips, Aetna, Air Products, Alexion, Delphi Automotive, Fortress Investment, Brunswick, NY Times, Johnson Controls, CME Group, Nokia, Praxair, Sherwin-Williams, Altria, Novo Nordisk, Ball Corp., Deckers Outdoor, Genworth Financial, Goodyear Tire, Pitney Bowes, Yamana Gold, Boston Beer, Outerwall, LinkedIn

8:30 a.m.: Jobless claims, Q3 GDP (Adv)

9:10 a.m.: Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart in panel discussion

10 a.m.: Pending home sales

Friday

Earnings: Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Seagate, Brink's, CBOE Holdings, Rockwell Collins, Mylan Labs, Eldorado Gold, Public Service, Phillips 66, Rubbermaid, Aon, Calpine, Pinnacle West, A-B Inbev, AbbVie, Colgate-Palmolive, CVS Health

8:30 a.m.: Personal Income, Employment Cost Index

9:45 a.m.: Chicago PMI

10 a.m.: Consumer sentiment

10:50 a.m.: San Francisco Fed President John Williams

11:25 a.m.: Kansas City Fed President Esther George.

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