News out of Japan, Europe and the US put a negative spin on markets to open the week.
After the Dow closed exactly at 17,500 on Friday, there was fear that a further decline below the level - which had held for more than two months (March 17 was the last time the Dow closed under 17,500) - might trigger a more precipitous decline.
However, with bad news all around, traders figured that the Fed would have enough sense to pause on a rate hike at their June meeting.
Japan experienced deep declines in both imports and exports to major trading partners such as the USA and China. It was the seventh consecutive monthly decline in exports from Japan.
Europe's Manufacturing PMI was below estimates; the US had similar results, with the lowest Markit Manufacturing PMI (50.5) since the financial crisis in 2009.
Stock traders put on a stern face, keeping the major averages in the green most of the day, but stocks slumped in he final hour of trading, with all three majors losing ground.
Now, it appears that not only is the Federal reserve intent on raising rates sooner rather than later, but it is also becoming crystal clear that the general global economy is ailing as well and may be approaching recessionary levels.
This is not exactly how the masters of the universe wanted to start the week, though they have nobody except themselves to blame for whatever erosion of the global economy and their precious stock certificates occurs in coming months.
S&P 500: 2,048.04, -4.28 (0.21%)
Dow: 17,492.93, -8.01 (0.05%)
NASDAQ: 4,765.78, -3.78 (0.08%)
Crude Oil 48.12 -0.60% Gold 1,249.50 -0.27% EUR/USD 1.1222 +0.03% 10-Yr Bond 1.84 -0.59% Corn 397.75 +0.82% Copper 2.06 +0.02% Silver 16.41 -0.77% Natural Gas 2.06 +0.05% Russell 2000 1,111.37 -0.08% VIX 15.82 +4.08% BATS 1000 20,677.17 0.00% GBP/USD 1.4484 -0.16% USD/JPY 109.2430 -0.81%