Little change to Wall Street ahead of US presidential election

US stocks were little changed on Monday as investors resisted taking big positions ahead of the outcome of the US election next week.

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Wall Street ended barely changed on Monday (Oct 31), with investors resisting big bets ahead of the US presidential election next week.

US Bank's David Schiegoleit said: "So, you have these kind of two forces weighing on the market right now. One, holding stocks up, that's earnings, and one putting a cap on them that's the election."

A raft of deals lifted sentiment on Monday.

General Electric is merging its oil and gas business with Baker Hughes. The outcome? The world's number two oilfield services provider. Analysts say the deal is unlikely to face regulatory hurdles. Baker Hughes stock fell after the move.

Phone and Internet service provider CenturyLink is buying broadband services giant Level 3 Communications for US$34 billion (S$47 billion) including debt, which is a 42 per cent premium. Shares of the latter rose, while CenturyLink tanked.

Lumber Liquidators plunged as well after reporting a big quarterly loss and saying it can not provide a timeline for potential settlements with regulators, or an outlook for its business.

Nike was down too after BofA Merrill Lynch downgraded the stock.

In Europe, stocks fell for a sixth straight session.