Traders witnessed a sudden change of direction on markets in the US following last week's string of consecutive daily gains, with investors considering whether valuations are now starting to look a little stretched.
As the hunt for yield and capital growth continues, so does the reporting season.
With a number of high-profile stocks experiencing commercial issues and failing to meet market expectations, several commentators and economists are questioning how long this latest rally can continue.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 33.52 points to 25,262.35, half an hour into today's session.
The broader-based S&P 500 drifted 2.32 points lower to 2,740.83 and the tech-focused NASDAQ was little changed at 7,135.49.
In Europe, the FTSE 100 was down 17.14 points at 7,7007.03, the DAX was up by 46.41 points at 13,365.92 and the CAC 40 was 17.14 points higher at 5,487.89.
At around 2:55pm (UK time), West Texas Intermediate crude was $61.54 per barrel (+0.16%) and Brent crude was $67.63 per barrel (+0.01%).
Gold was 0.11% weaker at $1,320.80 an ounce, silver was 0.58% lower and copper was up 0.29%.
Monthly consumer credit data is due later this evening, which should provide an insight into spending patterns in the US.