Wall Street retreated on Monday as investors were cautiously awaiting earnings season to start.
Earnings season is to kick off this week, but analysts are cutting their forecasts for S&P 500 earnings for the first time in more than a year.
Alcoa will report results on Thursday while Micron Technology Inc, PepsiCo Inc and Monsanto Co are also set to report this week.
This week will also see a batch of important economic data, including the most important monthly non-farm payroll report from the Labor Department.
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 78.41, or 0.72 percent, to 10,751.27. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 9.21 points, or 0.80 percent, to 1,137.03 and the Nasdaq was down 26.23 points, or 1.11 percent, to 2,344.52.
The National Association of Realtors reported on Monday that its index of pending sales of previously occupied homes rose 4.3 percent in August, higher than economists’ expectation but still weaker than a year earlier.
Meanwhile, factory orders fell 0.5 percent in August due largely to plummeting aircraft orders, which was the third drop in the past four months.
Technology shares were among the worst performers after Goldman Sachs removed its “buy” rating on Microsoft, saying the software giant was struggling to gain market share in mobile devices.
Shares of Microsoft fell 1.93 percent, or 47 cents, to settle at 23.91 U.S. dollars on the Nasdaq.
Sara Lee Corp shares jumped 7.2 percent to 14.40 dollars after The New York Post reported that the food maker received an unsolicited offer from private equity firm KKR Co and aroused the interest of Anglo-Dutch conglomerate Unilever.