Hopes are high that Draghi will announce plans to support the euro when the central bank meets Thursday, said David Brown, the chief executive officer and chief market strategist at the research firm Sabrient.
"I think that's the big story this week," Brown said. "The market has really responded to his bold statement. I hope the ECB takes action. If they don't do anything, it's not going to be pretty."
Investors are also looking toward the Federal Reserve's meeting this week. Many in the financial markets believe that the Fed will take new steps to stimulate the economy in coming months. The Fed is to release its statement on interest-rate policy Wednesday afternoon.
Besides the Fed statement and the ECB meeting, another potentially market-moving event is to come Friday, when the U.S. Labor Department releases its monthly employment report. Economists expect that the unemployment rate will remain at 8.2 percent.
In other Monday trading, the broader Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.67 of a point to 1,385.30. The Nasdaq dropped 12.25 points to 2,945.84.
The indexes had been creeping higher early in the day, then reversed course soon after a regional manufacturing report was much weaker than analysts had expected. A survey of manufacturing by the Dallas branch of the Federal Reserve showed a steep drop in July. Economists had forecast a modest gain.
Two corporate deals announced early Monday pushed some stocks higher. Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. agreed to buy Shaw Group for $3 billion in cash and stock. Shaw jumped $14.80, or 55 percent, to $41.49.
Medical and industrial equipment maker Roper Industries Inc. said it planned to buy hospital software company Sunquest Information Systems for $1.42 billion. Roper also raised its earnings estimate for the year, a result of the pending merger and a stronger dollar. Roper gained 1 percent to $99.64. Sunquest is privately owned.
Loews Corp. sank 5 percent after reporting that its net income plunged 78 percent in the second quarter. Falling energy prices lowered the value of its oil and gas properties. Loews runs Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc., HighMount Exploration & Production and Loews Hotels. Shares fell $2.16 to $39.54.