U.S. stocks closed sharply lower Monday, weighed by a renewed decline in oil prices, as investors awaited key inputs on the pace of economic growth. A swath of major earnings reports, data and the Federal Reserve’s statement are all due later in the week. ( Tweet This ) The major averages ended near session lows, as crude oil futures extended losses to trade below $30 a barrel.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite ended more than 1.5 percent  lower, while the Dow Jones industrial average was off more than 200 points. “I think this is to be expected as the market tries to discern a pattern from the economic releases as to whether the economy is retaining momentum or at least there’s a stabilization in the data,” said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial. CONTINUE