Stocks continued to hold lower in afternoon trading, putting four days of gains for the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average in jeopardy, while oil prices rose on hopes an agreement to cut output could be reached at an OPEC meeting in Vienna on Wednesday.  

The S&P 500 fell 0.29%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.16% and the Nasdaq tumbled 0.36%.

TheStreet's Jim Cramer said he prefers three or four market down days because it allows investors to catch their breath, while "new money comes in and then the stocks recharge and go higher." 

West Texas Intermediate crude oil gained 1.9% Monday at $46.95 a barrel after trading in and out of positive territory for much of the morning.

"The price of oil has certainly stabilized," Stephen Guilfoyle, president of Sarge986 said, highlighting that since OPEC been talking about a production deal the price of oil has stayed around $40 beginning in late February.

Saudi Arabia suggested over the weekend that OPEC didn't need to reduce output to rebalance the oil market as increasing demand in 2017 would serve to drain a supply glut that has weighed on prices. 

"There's so much doubt regarding this OPEC meeting," Guilfoyle said in a phone interview. "I think there's a lot of smoke here, smoke and mirrors. They'll probably come to some kind of agreement, at least in principle, because they have to because there's a lot of pressure on them."

Saudi Arabia pulled out of a planned meeting on Monday with non-OPEC oil producers, claiming the get-together was pointless until OPEC finalized its production targets. The 14-nation OPEC cartel is scheduled to meet Wednesday in Vienna.

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