(By Balachander) U.S. stocks closed in red amid worries over factory activity in New York state and euro zone's debt woes.
S&P 500 Index retreated 0.31 percent to finish at 1,461.19. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.30 percent to end at 13,553.02. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.17 percent to close at 3,178.67.
U.S. stocks rallied late last week after the Federal Reserve disclosed plans to purchase mortgage bonds at a pace of $40 billion per month to spur growth and also decided to keep interest rates "exceptionally low" at least through middle of 2015.
Weighing on Monday's negative sentiment was a New York Federal Reserve's empire state manufacturing survey that showed the headline index hit a three-year low, contracting to 10.4 for September from a fall of 5.9 for August, while economists expected a reading of negative 2.0.
The news out of Europe also contributed to the weakness. Euro area finance ministers remained divided over the European Commission's proposal on the banking union and also failed to agree over terms of bailout requests.
Keenly anticipated domestic data over the week include: housing starts and building permits, existing home sales, initial jobless claims, manufacturing PMI, Philadelphia Federal Reserve Manufacturing Index and Conference Board's leading economic indicators index.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: GM, AAPL, ODP, WCN, IRIS, THLD, GNOM, LDK
In corporate news, General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) shed 1.41 percent. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Treasury said it may not sell its 26.5 percent stake in the company anytime soon, as doing so would would mean huge investment losses.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) added 1.23 percent. The technology giant said pre-orders of its iPhone 5 topped two million in just 24 hours, shattering the previous record of one million held by iPhone 4S.
Office Depot Inc. (NYSE:ODP) jumped 5.26 percent after Starboard Value LP disclosed a 13.3 percent stake in the Boca Raton, Florida-based supplier of office products, making the activist investment fund biggest shareholder of the company.
Waste Connections Inc. (NYSE:WCN) soared 10.58 percent after the solid waste-services company agreed to acquire R360 Environmental Solutions Inc., a provider of non-hazardous oilfield waste-treatment services, for $1.3 billion in cash.
IRIS International Inc. (NASDAQ:IRIS) spiked 45.60 percent after the maker of automated in-vitro diagnostic systems agreed to be acquired by Danaher Corp. (NYSE:DHR) for $19.50 per share.
Threshold Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:THLD) tumbled 19.72 percent after the company reported new clinical data for its TH-302 experimental drug for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.
Complete Genomics Inc. (NASDAQ:GNOM) shares jumped 13.11 percent after the provider of human genome sequencing technology announced a merger agreement with Chinese pharmaceutical company BGI-Shenzhen. The Mountain View, California-based developer of DNA sequencing platform will be acquired by a U.S. unit of BGI for $3.15 per share in cash, a 18 percent premium to GNOM's previous closing price.
LDK Solar Co. Ltd. (NYSE:LDK) slashed its revenue forecast for the full year after the maker of solar equipments posted a quarterly loss as sales slumped 53 percent. U.S.-listed shares of the Chinese company shed 3.23 percent.
European markets ended lower, with Germany's DAX down 0.11 percent to close at 7,403.69. France's CAC40 declined 0.78 percent to finish at 3,553.69. U.K.'s FTSE 100 fell 0.37 percent to end at 5,893.52.
Asian markets closed mixed, with China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index tumbling 2.14 percent to finish at 2,078.50. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index inched up 0.14 percent to close at 20,658.11. India's BSE Sensex closed at 18,542.31, up 0.42 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 was closed for a holiday.
Commodity & Currency Scan:
Crude oil futures tumbled 3.03 percent to $96.00 per barrel and natural gas futures dropped 2.34 percent to $2.874 per million metric British thermal units. Gold futures dipped 0.83 percent to $1,758 per ounce and silver futures shed 1.95 percent to $33.98 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro lost 0.15 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.3109. The British pound gained 0.16 percent against the greenback to 1.6242, and the dollar climbed 0.45 percent against the Japanese yen to 78.7400.