Stocks fell in choppy trade on Monday, with the Nasdaq down 1 percent, as political uncertainty in Italy fueled investor concern the euro zone debt crisis could engulf the bloc's third biggest economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 48.13 points, or 0.40 percent, to 11,935.11. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped 6.21 points, or 0.50 percent, to 1,247.02. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 28.26 points, or 1.05 percent, to 2,657.89.