U.S. stocks closed lower Monday as declines in technology stocks offset gains in energy stocks.
Stocks extended losses, gold jumped and Treasury yields fell in late morning trade after North Korea's foreign minister Ri Yong Ho said U.S. President Donald Trump's latest comments amounted to declaring war on North Korea and that the rogue state has the right to shoot down strategic U.S. bombers even if they are not in North Korean airspace. Later Monday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said "we have not declared war on North Korea," calling the suggestion "absurd."
"I think the market got a little nervous about that," said John Caruso, senior market strategist at RJO Futures. "On top of the German elections it makes the market a bit unsure right now."
The major U.S. stock indexes recovered some losses in the close. The Dow Jones industrial average closed 53.50 points lower, or 0.24 percent, at 22,296.09. McDonald's, Visa and Boeing had the greatest negative impact on the index, followed by Apple. Home Depot, Exxon Mobil and Walt Disney had the greatest positive impact.
Information technology had its worst day since August 17, falling 1.4 percent as the greatest decliner in the S&P 500, which declined 5.56 points to 2,496.66. Energy led six sectors higher and closed up nearly 1.5 percent.
The Nasdaq composite briefly fell more than 1 percent but closed 0.88 percent lower at 6,370.59 in its worst day since September 5.
Apple shares fell for a fourth straight day, down 0.88 percent. The stock fell 5 percent last week, its worst week in more than a year, after Friday's launch of the iPhone 8 and some other products in stores. The stock remains up nearly 30 percent for the year.
Facebook shares closed 4.5 percent lower in their worst day of the year. The social media giant dropped a proposal for the social media giant to issue a new class of shares that would have allowed CEO Mark Zuckerberg to keep voting control and fund the company's philanthropic efforts.
"It's really more just people are positioned a certain way. Everybody starts to bring down their growth exposure at the same time," said Ian Winer, head of equities at Wedbush.
As of the close, trade volume in the PowerShares QQQ Trust ETF, which tracks the Nasdaq 100, was on pace for its highest volume day since August 18.
As of Monday's close, the Nasdaq composite was within 2 percent of its all-time high while the S&P and Dow closed within 1 percent of their record highs.