Disappointment out of Europe over the weekend ended the recent rally of U.S. stocks and other global risk assets.
On Monday, the S&P 500 Index fell 23.72 points, or 1.94 percent, to end at 1,200.86. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 247.49 points, or 2.13 percent, to close at 11,397.00. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.98 percent.
European equities fell and the euro dropped against the U.S. dollar.
The global risk asset rally that started on Oct. 4, which took the S&P 500 over 10 percent higher, was largely on hopes coming out of Europe.
During that period, European leaders gave indication that they were willing to tackle the European debt crisis by recapitalizing banks and aiding Greece.
However, by the end of the past weekend, German officials had dampened investors' hopes.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble stated that the weekend G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bankers produced no concrete details regarding the Eurozone bailout.
The German Chancellor's spokesperson Steffen Seibert also warned investors against being too hopeful that a meeting of European leaders scheduled for the coming Sunday will produce a comprehensive bailout package to resolve everything.
That Europe disappointed investors and put an abrupt end to the market's recent rally did not surprise analysts like David Kelly, chief market strategist at JPMorgan Funds.
Until we know Europe is dealing with its problem, it's hard for the market to move substantially to the upside, he told CNBC TV last week.
Indeed, many analysts and investors noted that European officials never fully committed to bailing out Europe yet and failed to give hard figures and precise promises.