Stocks fell on Monday after American Express Co said the number of people struggling to make credit card payments grew, erasing earlier optimism that banks could return to profit in the downturn.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> shed 7.01 points, or 0.10 percent, to end unofficially at 7,216.97. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> fell 2.66 points, or 0.35 percent, to 753.89. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> tumbled 27.48 points, or 1.92 percent, to 1,404.02.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Jan Paschal)