Wall Street began the new trading week on a sour note, with most US stocks weighed down by disappointing economic data.
The downbeat mood on the street was sparked by data that revealed services activity in the US unexpectedly slowed last month.
The S&P500 posted its third consecutive loss, and has yet to log a winning session so far in 2014. The benchmark index slipped four points (-0.2%) to close at 1827.
Of the other major indices, the Dow fell 45 points (-0.3%) to 16425 and the Nasdaq let go of 18 points (-0.4%) to 4114.
The big news story in commodity markets was gold, where a flash crash saw the yellow metal plunge more than 2% in the space of 10 seconds before quickly recouping most of its losses.
Bullion ended the session with only a 0.1% decline, settling at US$1238 an ounce.
Elsewhere, oil suffered its fifth consecutive loss, ending at its lowest level in five weeks amid mounting speculation of a pending increase in Libyan crude production.
Front month crude futures dropped 0.3% to US$93.70 a barrel.
The greenback was broadly weaker against other currencies, largely due to the US services data, which raised concerns about economic growth.
In economic news, Australian trade data is due for release at 11:30am, AEDT.