Stocks closed broadly lower after a day of choppy trading on Wall Street on Monday (US time) as investors prepare for a busy week of corporate earnings and inflation updates.
The major indexes made early gains, but slowly fizzled as the day progressed. The S&P 500 fell 30.15 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 4,361.19. The benchmark index gained as much as 0.6 per cent in the early going.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 250.19 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 34,496.06 and the Nasdaq shed 93.34 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 14,486.20.
The Australian sharemarket is set to slide lower, with futures at 6.59am AEST pointing to a fall of 27 points, or 0.4 per cent, at the open. Iron ore with 62 per cent grade out of Qingdao rose $US11.65 or 9.4 per cent to $US135.03 a tonne, according to Metal Bulletin.
Technology and communications stocks had some of the biggest losses on Wall Street. Facebook fell 1.4 per cent and Intuit fell 1.1 per cent.
Most sectors ended in the red. Real estate stocks, which are seen as relatively less risky, were among the few bright spots within the S&P 500.
Bond trading was closed for the Columbus Day holiday. The price of US crude oil rose 1.5 per cent to over $US80 a barrel.
Investors are looking ahead to the beginning of company earnings this week. Analysts have said that the latest round of corporate results could help give the market more direction after several choppy weeks. Stocks have been swaying between gains and losses as investors try to better gauge the direction of the economic recovery through the rest of the year.
Banks will be among the first big companies to report their latest financial results and give investors more insight into how companies are faring amid concerns over the lingering virus pandemic and rising inflation.