US markets were struggling in negative territory in early Monday trade following reports that Apple's latest smartphone is facing economic headwinds.
At 1530 GMT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 13,467.23, down 20.96 (0.16 percent).
The broad-based S&P 500 slid 5.63 (0.38 percent) to 1,466.42. The Nasdaq Composite fell 19.89 (0.64 percent) to 3,105.74.
Apple shares quickly cast a shadow over US markets after the company reportedly had cut its orders for components for the iPhone 5 due to weaker-than-expected demand.
Apple shares were off 3.3 percent. The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, said orders for iPhone 5 screens for the first quarter were roughly half of what had been previosuly planned.
Otherwise, analysts were awaiting a stream of corporate earnings reports later this week. Among the groups reporting scheduled to report were General Electric, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley.
"In general, there is a wait-and-see mentality in the marketplace," said Patrick O'Hare of Briefing.com.
Participants are eager to hear the guidance coming out of upcoming earnings reports, "which can either be a catalyst for an extended breakout or a cause for a breakdown," O'Hare said.
Apple's decline Monday also led lower telecommunications providers Verizon (down 0.7 percent), AT&T (down 0.4 percent) and Spring Nextel (down 3.1 percent).
Transocean gained 3.3 percent on news that corporate activist Carl Icahn had purchased a 1.56 percent stake in the offshore driller.
UPS shares were 0.8 percent higher after it abandoned a proposed $7.03 billion takeover of TNT Express of the Netherlands due to objections from European antitrust regulators.
Harry Winston rose 8.2 percent after Swatch Group announced a deal to buy the US jeweler and watchmaker for up to $1.0 billion.
BlackBerry maker Research in Motion advanced 8.3 percent.
Bond prices gained. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury dropped to 1.84 percent from 1.88 percent late Friday. The yield on the 30-year US Treasury fell to 3.02 percent from 3.05 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.