By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks declined on Monday after the World Bank cut growth forecasts for East Asia, highlighting concerns about the global economic climate and corporate profits on the cusp of the quarterly earnings season.
The World Bank reduced its growth forecasts for the East Asia and Pacific region and said there was a risk the slowdown in China could worsen and last longer than many analysts have forecast.
China, the world's second largest economy, has been hampered by the euro zone debt crisis. Europe is China's largest trade partner.
"There is just a lot of uncertainty out there, so any little thing right now tends to be a bit of a drag. Some of it is China, some of it may be concerns about Europe again," said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois.
The third-quarter earnings season will kick off on Tuesday with results from Dow component Alcoa Inc
Recent earnings warnings from large multinationals such as FedEx Corp
"Certainly there has been a lot of downward revisions in earnings in general. Some people are predicting that we may see an overall decline in earnings, so there may be some defensive posturing and profit-taking," Jankovskis said.
According to Thomson Reuters data through Friday, 91 companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 have issued negative outlooks versus 21 positive preannouncements, for a ratio of 4.3, the weakest showing since the third quarter of 2001.
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 43.47 points, or 0.32 percent, to 13,566.68. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost 6.71 points, or 0.46 percent, to 1,454.22. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 22.79 points, or 0.73 percent, to 3,113.39.
There are no economic events or S&P 500 companies scheduled to report earnings on Monday, and trading is expected to be light due to the Columbus Day holiday.
Chemicals maker TPC Group Inc
Wal-Mart Stores Inc
Wal-Mart shares advanced 0.3 percent to $75.35, and American Express edged up 0.09 percent to $58.61.
Shares of prepaid card providers tumbled, with Green Dot Corp
Shares of Renewable Energy Group Inc
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Leslie Adler)