"Perhaps it's worries about the legitimacy of the Federal Reserve lifting interest rates and that equity valuations — which have been in full — need to be re-rated," said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott.
The odds of the Fed raising rates for the first time in about a decade rose dramatically after the October nonfarm payrolls report — released Friday — showed the U.S. economy added 271,000 jobs.
According to the CME Group, the probability of a December rate hike rose from about 58 percent to about 70 percent.
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U.S. stocks opened lower and soon proceeded to extend losses, with the Dow Jones industrial average falling as much as 242.55 points at its session lows before paring gains slightly ahead of the close.
"I think there was some bargain hunting this afternoon," said Kim Forrest, senior equity analyst at Fort Pitt Capital.
The blue chips index also fell back into negative territory for the year as IBM contributed most of the losses.