New York - US stocks fell Monday as wary markets kept an eye on political changes in Greece and Italy aimed at tackling the eurozone debt crisis.
After two straight winning sessions, the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 74.77 points to finish at 12 078.91.
The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 12.05 points to 1 251.80, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite slid 21.53 points to 2 657.22.
A crisis atmosphere continued in Europe as Italy again was forced to pay high rates to borrow, despite the resignation of prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Europe was in its perhaps "hardest hour" since World War II.
"The uneasiness across the pond comes on a changing political landscape in the eurozone, a mixed debt auction in Italy, and a lackluster read on euro-area industrial production," Charles Schwab analysts said.
Financials were the worst-performing sector of the session, Briefing.com analysts noted.
Bank of America tumbled 2.6%, Citigroup shed 3.2%, Goldman Sachs dropped 2.3% and JPMorgan Chase lost 2.2%.
Tycoon investor Warren Buffett revealed that his Berkshire Hathaway investment firm has bought a 5.5% stake in IBM since March worth more than $10bn.
Berkshire's most widely traded "B" shares fell 1.4%t to $75.86; IBM ended essentially flat at $187.35.
Boeing climbed 1.5% to $67.94 after winning its biggest commercial aircraft order.
In Dubai Emirates Airlines announced orders for 50 long-range Boeing 777-300ER passenger jets, in a deal worth $18bn, with options to buy 20 more. And Oman Air said it was buying six 787 Dreamliner planes.
American Airlines parent AMR slumped 4.9% to $2.14 after its regional carrier American Eagle was fined $900 000 for violating the government's tarmac delay rule in May.
Amazon gained 0.7% to $218.93. The company began shipping the Kindle Fire tablet computer on Monday, seen as a potentially strong rival to Apple's market-leading iPad.
The bond market, which was closed Friday, rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.04% from 2.06% on Thursday, while the 30-year Treasury's yield declined to 3.09% from 3.11%.