US stocks slipped Monday as investors were concerned about new developments in Europe's debt crisis and political turmoil.
The European PMI data declined to 47.4 in March, suggesting a shrinking economy in euro zone countries. Meanwhile, the HSBC China PMI showed that China's manufacturing sector contracted at a slower rate in April, Xinhua reported.
Investors were somewhat relieved but were still concerned that China's economy might slow down for quite a while in the future.
Moreover, politics caused more uncertainties to the European economy as a French opposition candidate edged out President Nicolas Sarkozy in the first round of France's presidential election.
At the same time, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte resigned Monday in a crisis over budget cuts, creating a political vacuum in a country which strongly backed an EU fiscal treaty and lectured Greece on getting its finances in order.
The political turmoil in Europe cast doubts on the region's further economic development. Some investors even worried that the current recession will lead to a global recession in the future.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 102.09 points, or 0.78 percent, to 12,927.17. The Standard & Poor's 500 was down 11.59 points, or 0.84 percent, to 1,366.94. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 30.00 points, or 1.00 percent, to 2,970.45.
In other markets, crude prices slipped on Monday because of concerns over the European economic outlook.
Light, sweet crude for June delivery fell 77 cents, or 0.74 percent, to settle at $103.11 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude for June delivery also declined slightly and last traded above $118 a barrel.
The US dollar rallied against the euro Monday as the euro zone currency was heavily weighed down amid concerns over the political and economic outlooks of some European countries.