• Stocks were lower Monday ahead of a busy week for earnings.

Wall Street was lower Monday morning as strong gains in Shanghai and the start of a busy week for corporate earnings failed to calm nerves about rising rates and the prospect of slowing economic growth around the world.

"Transitions occurring in interest rates and in the way trade is conducted globally are causing investor sentiment to become unsettled," John Stoltzfus of Oppenheimer Equity Research said in an email.

That followed a sharp recovery in Chinese stocks, with the Shanghai Composite gaining nearly 5% as . After

European stocks were also modestly higher after the ratings agency Moody's left Italy in investment grade territory in a report, easing some concerns about the populist government's plans to sharply increase public spending. But it also cut Rome's credit rating in the report to one level above junk. On Monday, Italy continued to clash with European Union officials who have called Rome's budget "unprecedented."