NEW YORK, New York - U.S. stocks closed lower on Monday, although the selling was well contained.
A sharp drop in December exports for China set the tone, as it was another indicator of a slowing of the world's second largest economy.
On Monday it was announced that Chinese exports last month had fallen 4.4% compared to a year earlier.
The U.S. shutdown which has now entered its fourth week with little hope of a resolution in sight, also weighed on sentiment.
At the close of trading Monday, the Dow Jones industrials were off 86.11 points or 0.036% at 23,909.84.
The Standard and Poor's 500 lost 13.65 points or 0.53% to 2,582.61.
The tech-laden Nasdaq did worst, losing 65.56 points or 0.94% to close Monday at 6,905.92.
The U.S. dollar lloost ground against the majors, although it marked time against the euro.
Around the New York close on Monday, the EU units was quoted at 14.68, largely unchanged from its Friday close.
The British pound on the even of an important vote on Brexit in the British parliament, rose to 1.2869.
The Japanese yen was stronger at 108.16, while the Swiss franc firmed to 0.9811.
The Canadian, Australian and New Zealand dollars were little changed, last quoted at 1.3278, 0.7199 and 0.6822 respectively.
In overseas equity markets, the situation was similar to Wall Street.
London''s FTSE 100 lost 0.91% on Monday.
The German Dax fell 0.29%.
The Paris-based CAC 40 was down 0.39%.
In China, the Shanghai Composite shed 0.71%, while the Hong Kong Hang Seng sank 1.38%.
The Australian All Ords was off 0.03%, however in Japan stocks went against the trend omn Monday, with the Nikkei 225 rising 0.97%.