NEW YORK, New York - U.S. stocks were sold off Monday, a surprising break in what has been a relentless rally that has lasted several weeks, sending the Down Jones and Standard and Poor's 500 to record highs on Friday.
"The market has had a huge jump to the upside so it needs to take a little bit of rest," Peter Cardillo, Chief Market Economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York told Reuters Thomson Monday.
"For now it's just a little bit of profit-taking as traders await results from big tech names on Wall Street."
At the close on Monday, the Dow Jones industrials were down 123.04 points or 0.36 percent at 34,077.63.
The Standard and Poor's 500 slid 22.21 points or 0.53 percent to 4,163.26.
The Nasdaq Composite sank 137.58 points or 0.98 percent to 13,914.73.
in Europe, the German Dax slid 0.59 percent while the Paris-based CAC 40 rose 0.15 percent.
The U.S. dollar also took a breather on Monday. The euro gained half-a-cent to 1.2036 by the New York close Monday. The British pound jumped to 1.3988. The Japanese yen strengthened to 108.15. The Swiss franc firmed to 0.9150.
The Canadian dollar weakened a touch to 1.2532. The Australian dollar was only marginally higher at 0.715755. The New Zealand dollar rose a quarter-of-a-cent to 0.7177.
London's FTSE 100 dropped 0.28 percent.
On Asian markets, in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 added just 2 points or 0.01 percent to 29,685.37.
The Australian All Ordinaries rose by 2.20 points or 0.03 percent to 7,328.00.
China's Shanghai Composite was the star of the day, advancing 50.93 points or 1.49 percent to 3,477.55.
The Hang Seng in Hong Kong climbed 136.44 points or 0.47 percent to close at 29,106.15.