NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks were modestly lower, though trading off session lows by mid-afternoon Monday after European markets closed in the red following a breakdown in Greek debt talks. The energy sector was also under pressure as crude oil prices fell.
The S&P 500 fell 0.41%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.71%, and the Nasdaq declined 0.39%.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries hit its highest monthly production volume since October 2012. The group responsible for one-third of global supply produced 31.11 million barrels per day in May, according to the latest Platts survey.
West Texas Intermediate crude closed 0.7% lower to $59.52 a barrel. Exxon Mobil (XOM), Chevron (CVX), ConocoPhillips (COP) and Kinder Morgan (KMI) were all lower, while the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) dipped 0.3%.
"The crude complex continues to fall today as the sky-high production of OPEC and the U.S. shows no signs of slowing," said Schneider Electric commodity analyst Austin Sapp. "Traders seem to be losing hope that the strategy of OPEC is successfully stealing market share from competitors... Oversupply persists, pushing the crude complex down for now."
European markets closed sharply lower after negotiations between Greece and its European creditors broke down on Sunday, reportedly after only 45 minutes. Both sides are standing firm on proposed austerity measures with no agreement in sight which would allow Greece access to additional debt relief before its repayments to the International Monetary Fund come due June 30.
"Some would claim that [Greece] has already technically defaulted on its debt by opting to bundle all of this month's 1.6B euros debt payments to the end of this month, but if no deal is reached by July, the prospect of a Grexit (Greek exit from the eurozone) could become the base case," said Matt Weller, senior technical analyst at Forex.com.
Greece has another chance to negotiate terms for further debt relief at a meeting of eurozone finance ministers on Thursday.
United Technologies (UTX) was the worst performer on the Dow after the company confirmed it will spin off or sell its Sikorsky Aircraft business by the end of the third quarter. United Technologies said it expects full-year earnings between $6.35 and $6.55 a share following the move away from its helicopter business.
Gains among homebuilders helped to minimize some market losses, led by Standard Pacific (SPF) and Ryland Group (RYL) on news of a merger with a combined market cap of $5.2 billion. Standard Pacific shareholders will hold a 59% stake while Ryland shareholders will hold the remainder.
"This industry is in bad need of rationalization," said TheStreet's Jim Cramer. "That said, I vastly prefer Lennar to either or both of these two companies and if you think that housing's really going to perk up go buy Wells Fargo (WFC), which is our biggest financial in actionalertsplus.com."
Homebuilder confidence in the U.S. hit a nine-month high in June, according to the National Association of Home Builders' monthly Housing Market Index. The gauge gained 5 points to 59 in June, higher than an estimated reading of 55.
"June has historically been one of the most important months for housing starts on a non-seasonally adjusted basis. June's reading in the sentiment index bodes well for starts in 2015," Wells Fargo analysts wrote in a note. Housing starts data for May will be released on Tuesday morning.
U.S. industrial production fell 0.2% in May, below forecasts for an increase of 0.2%. The measure fell 0.5% in April.
"The tone of this report was quite disappointing, and when added to the weak Empire manufacturing sector print, the market is beginning to look warily to the other economic reports this week for some context in judging the disappointing manufacturing sector performance -- which appears to show no signs ending," said Millan Mulraine, deputy head of U.S. strategy at TD Securities.
The Empire State Manufacturing Survey, a gauge of activity in the New York region, declined to a reading of -2 in June, down from 3.09 in May. Economists had expected a reading of 5.9.
Alibaba (BABA) announced plans to launch a streaming service similar to Netflix (NFLX) in China called Tmall Box Office. The service is expected to launch in two months and marks poor timing for Netflix which is reportedly exploring the possibility of launching in the region.
CVS Health (CVS) shares climbed after the company announced it will acquire Target's (TGT) pharmacy business for $1.9 billion. The deal sees CVS assuming ownership of 1,600 locations in 47 U.S. states.
The Federal Reserve will dominate the economic calendar this week with members convening for their two-day meeting on Tuesday. An announcement will be released and press conference held mid-afternoon Wednesday. Economists do not expect Fed members to elect to raise interest rates until September at the earliest.
"Activity is not yet strong enough to give the Fed "reasonable confidence" that progress in the labor market will continue," said SG Global Economics' Michala Marcussen. "Therefore, we do not expect any signals regarding the timing of the lift-off in rates."