NEW YORK, New York - U.S. stocks were on the defensive on Monday following the release of disappointing economic data.
The New York Federal Reserve said its Empire State manufacturing index registered at 24.3 in May, down from 26.3 in April, less than anticipated.
Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said during a speech at the Atlanta Federal Reserve's financial market conference on Monday that he doesn't believe it's appropriate to raise interest rates because the U.S. economy hasn't yet made "substantial further progress."
At the close on Monday, the Dow Jones index was down 54.34 points or 0.16 percent at 34,327.79.
The Standard and Poor's 500 fell 10.56 points or 0.25 percent to 4,163.29.;
The Nasdaq Composite lost 50.93 points or 0.38 percent to 13,379.05.
On foreign exchange markets, the U.S. dollar drifted lower. The euro firmed to 1.2159, while the British pound crept up to 1.4159. The Japanese yen was a few points higher at 109.18. The Swiss franc inched down to 0.9025.
The Canadian dollar strengthened to 1.2064. The Australian dollar climbed to 0.7771, while the New Zealand dollar was in demand at 0.7218.
On overseas equity markets, the FTSE 100 in London fell 0.15 percent. The German Dax declined 0.13 percent, while in Paris, France the CAC 40 lost 0.28 percent.
On Asian markets, the Nikkei 225 was solidly lower, having given up 259.67 points or 0.92 percent to close at 27,824.83.
In Australia, the All Ordinaries gained 16.40 points or 0.23 percent to 7,255.80.
China's Shanghai Composite advanced 27.24 points or 0.78 percent to 3,517.62.
The Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 116.49 points or 0.59 percent to 28,194.09.