U.S. equities fell on Monday as the chances of tighter monetary policy from the Federal Reserve sunk in for investors, while geopolitical concerns increased.
"It feels like the fundamental picture is still there," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities. "But at the same time you've got some events happening in March that are getting people worried. I think you're starting to see that."
The Dow Jones industrial average closed about 50 points, with Travelers contributing the most losses. The S&P 500 declined 0.3 percent, with financials and materials leading decliners. The Nasdaq pulled back around 0.4 percent.
Market expectations for a rate hike were 86.4 percent Monday, according to the CME Group's FedWatch tool. The Fed's monetary policy committee is set to meet between March 14 and 15.
"The March rate hike doesn't matter. What matters is how many times they raise," said Jeremy Klein, chief market strategist at FBN Securities. "If they stay at three times [for this year], then the market will be fine."
The only potential obstacle for the Fed to raise rates at this point is the February jobs report, which is scheduled for release on Friday. Economists polled by Reuters expect the U.S. economy to have added 186,000 jobs last month.