US stocks closing: U.S. stocks fell modestly on Monday as investors found few reasons to keep pushing shares higher following a six-weeks-long advance that has taken the S&P 500 index near record highs.
The benchmark index is up more than 6 percent so far this year after a steep rally in January that has stalled as the S&P and Dow industrials near multi-year highs.
"This is still a market that looks terrific, but when you're up for six weeks in a row, everyone is going to want to take a pause going into the seventh week even if there is no bad news out there," said Eric Kuby, chief investment officer at North Star Investment Management in Chicago.
The S&P 500 would need to rise 3.9 percent to reach its all-time intraday high of 1,576.09, which was hit in October 2007.
Google Inc shares fell 1 percent at $777.67 after the company said in a filing former chief executive Eric Schmidt is selling roughly 42 percent of his stake in the Internet search giant, a move that could potentially net him $2.51 billion.
But the decline was offset by gains in Apple, up 1.4 percent at $481.73 after a New York Times report that the iPhone maker is experimenting with the design of a device similar to a wristwatch.
The Federal Reserve's Vice Chair Janet Yellen, seen as a potential successor to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke next year, said the Fed is still aggressively stimulating an anemic U.S. economic recovery that has failed to bring rapid progress on employment.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 31.05 points, or 0.22 percent, at 13,961.92. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 1.80 points, or 0.12 percent, at 1,516.13. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 5.25 points, or 0.16 percent, at 3,188.62.
Upbeat U.S. and Chinese data last week helped the S&P 500 extend its weekly winning streak to six. The index gained about 8 percent over that period.
Equities have been strong performers lately, rising 6.3 percent so far this year. Many investors have used any declines in the market as opportunities to buy.
"Everyone wants to buy on a dip in this market, but if you're on the sidelines right now, the decline we're seeing today just isn't the kind you would jump in on," Kuby said.
President Barack Obama will describe his plan for spurring the economy in his State of the Union address on Tuesday. He is expected