Technology stocks sold off after a brokerage downgrade on Monday, leading the market lower, while uncertainty over higher oil prices looked set to drive volatility in the days ahead.

Wells Fargo downgraded the semiconductor sector, noting it has more than doubled in two years. The PHLX semiconductor index <.SOX>, up 45 percent since the start of September, fell 2.7 percent. The broad S&P 500 is up about 25 percent in that period.

The CBOE Volatility Index VIX <.VIX>, Wall Street's so-called fear gauge, rose 8.5 percent to 20.68.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> fell 79.85 points, or 0.66 percent, at 12,090.03. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> dropped 11.01 points, or 0.83 percent, at 1,310.14. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> lost 39.04 points, or 1.40 percent, at 2,745.63.

(Reporting by Angela Moon)