Stocks tumbled Monday as the Dow Jones industrial average fell about 180 points. Investors are growing concerned about company earnings and continue to ponder the implications of Friday's disappointing jobs report on the economy and Federal Reserve policy.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 179 points, or 1.1% to 16,258, according to preliminary calculations. The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 23 points, or 1.3% to 1,819 and the Nasdaq composite index declined 62 points, or 1.5% to 4,113.
The losses were led by a decline in energy stocks as the price of crude oil slumped. The price of crude oil was down $1.11, or 1.2%, to $91.61 a barrel as prospects increased that Iran would export more oil. Iran and six world powers announced a deal over the country's nuclear program Sunday that could ease sanctions on the country.
Exxon Mobil fell 2% to $98.50. The energy sector as a whole fell 2%, the most of the 10 in the S&P 500 index.
The focus in markets this week will increasingly turn to U.S. earnings statements over the coming weeks. This week, the banks take center stage. JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America are among the big banks that will report fourth-quarter earnings this week.
"The market will take its direction from how well, or how poorly, corporate earnings season is unfolding," said Phil Orlando, chief equity market strategist at Federated Investors.
Several more retailers issued profit warnings Monday. Lululemon Athletica fell 16% to $49.80 after the yoga apparel maker said sales have dropped off in January and its fourth-quarter results will be lower than expected.
Last Friday's figures showing that the U.S. economy only added 74,000 workers in December — the smallest increase since January 2011 — failed to have a dramatic market impact as many investors blamed the bad weather for the disappointment.
Stocks closed mixed Friday, as the Dow fell 7.71 points, or 0.1%, to 16,437.05 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index ended up 4.24 points, or 0.2%, to 1,842.37. The Nasdaq composite index rose 18.47, or 0.4%, to 4,174.66 and gained 1% for the week.
The stock market is getting the year off to a slow start after an exceptionally strong performance in 2013. The S&P 500 is down 0.5% so far this year, after climbing almost 30% last year.
"'Fed-speak' is in the spotlight this week as markets ponder Friday's deeply disappointing U.S. employment data and the possibility that it may compel the FOMC to rethink the decision to begin "tapering" QE asset purchases. While policymakers seem unlikely to abandon their medium-term strategy on the basis of one data point, speculation is likely to run rampant nonetheless," said Ilya Spival, currency strategist at DailyFX, in emailed comments.
Dennis Lockhart, the President of the Federal Reserve's Atlanta branch, said Monday that he would support further cuts "over the course of this year" if the economy continued to improve
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.83% from 2.86% Friday.
European stocks were mostly higher as the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares rose 0.3% to 6,757.15. France's CAC-40 index rose 0.3% to 4,263.27 and Germany's DAX was 0.4% higher at 9,510.17.
In Asian markets, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index added 0.2% to 22,888.76 and China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.2% to 2,009.56. Tokyo was closed for a holiday.