Investors kept one eye on plummeting crude oil prices on Monday and the other on the clock ahead of the kickoff to the Federal Reserve's July meeting tomorrow.
The former pushed stocks into the red for much of the day, snapping record-breaking streaks enjoyed last week. The S&P 500 fell 0.42%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 0.30%, and the Nasdaq was down 0.05%.
Crude oil settled at a three-month low on Monday on an expected decline in U.S. refinery activity. Barclays said global oil demand in the current quarter was growing at less than one-third the rate of a year earlier.
Morgan Stanley noted that headwinds such as U.S. oversupply and falling demand were growing in the second half of the year. Analysts cut their global refinery demand forecast for crude to 625,000 barrels a day, down from 800,000.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell 2.4% to $43.13 a barrel on Monday.
"Upcoming scheduled refinery maintenance work really shouldn't come as a surprise and we see this as more of a background factor that may be reinforcing the evolving bearish market sentiment rather than a key shift in the underlying supply/demand balance," said Tim Evans, energy futures specialist at Citi.
The energy sector was the worst performer on markets Monday. Major oilers Chevron (CVX) , Exxon Mobil (XOM) , BP (BP) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) were each lower, while the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) fell 1.93%.