U.S. stocks declined in early trade on Monday, as investors were worried about the impact of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan on the global economy.
The S&P 500 Index declined 7.35 points, or 0.56 percent, to trade at 1,296.93 at 10:10 a.m. EDT. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 59.07 points, or 0.49 percent, to trade at 11,985.33. The Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 0.32 percent.
The Friday quake devastated two cities in northwestern Japan and more than 1,000 people are feared killed, while 20,000 are still missing. More than 1,200 in Iwate prefecture and 20,000 in Miyagi prefecture are still awaiting rescue and relocation from the devastated region.
Meanwhile, a new blast occurred at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex on Monday, after a massive earthquake and tsunami struck the world's third largest economy. The blast -- the second hydrogen explosion in three days -- sent out a huge cloud of smoke into the air, while triggering fresh radiation concerns.
Shares of General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE) shares declined 1.72 percent to $20.01 in early trading. The company designed all six of the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan.
Lubrizol Corp. (NYSE: LZ) shares climbed 26.91 percent after Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A, BRK.B) said it has agreed to acquire chemical company Lubrizol for $135 a share in cash, or $9 billion, making it one of the largest acquisitions in its history.
Among the uranium producers, Denison Mines Corp. (AMEX:DNN) plunged 22.49 percent and Uranium Energy Corp. (AMEX:UEC) slumped 20 percent.
U.S. stocks ended higher on Friday led by gains from oil refiners after the earthquake disrupted Japan's refining capacity and equipment makers advanced on expectations for increased demand from rebuilding efforts.
The euro advanced 0.42 percent to 1.3961 against the dollar and the yen gained 0.08 percent against the greenback.
Crude oil futures declined 0.67 percent to $100.48 a barrel and gold futures gained 0.57 percent.
European stock markets are currently trading lower with FTSE 100 down by 17.61 points, DAX30 down by 100.25 points and CAC 40 down by 34.70 points.
Asian stock markets ended mixed on Monday, with the Nikkei recording its worst one-day performance in more than two years, while other markets edged up on back of demand for commodity related shares.