Updated from 9:07 a.m. EST
A day before the U.S. elects a new president, stocks staged a flat open Monday, as traders digested news of several merger setbacks prepared for another week full of quarterly
and turned their eyes toward Tuesday's
Dow Jones Industrial Average
was down 1.5 points at 9323, and the
was lower by 1.9 points at 967. The
slipped 1.6 points to 1718.
Looking through corporate headlines,
The Wall Street Journal
reported that as many as 1,800 public companies could be signing up for investments by the
Meanwhile, leveraged-buyout firm
was delaying plans to come public as the credit crisis hurt its capitalization standing. KKR said in a statement it would hold off on buying Amsterdam-listed
KKR Private Equity
until next year.
In other merger news,
The Detroit News
, which owns
, has ceased discussions with
because Cerberus intends on merging with
Agricultural products maker
announced its intent to buy Brazilian firm
for $290 million.
Less fortunate among agricultural names was
, which said late Friday it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
announced it would invest $1 billion in China over the next four years in an effort to gain a foothold in emerging markets.
announced that a strike by the International Association of Machinists had ended after the company and union signed a four-year contract.
As for earnings, insurer
reported a wider third-quarter loss, and
announced a decline in quarterly profit.
In terms of economic data, the census bureau is set to release its construction spending figures for September. Also due out is the Institute for Supply Management's October manufacturing index.
The European Commission also reported that Europe is probably in a recession and will continue to struggle through the next year.
Shifting to commodities, crude oil was losing $1.73 to $66.08 a barrel. Gold was climbing $8.70 to $726.90 an ounce.
Longer-dated U.S. Treasury securities were mixed. The 10-year was up 15/32, yielding 3.91%. The 30-year was dropping 6/32 to yield 4.34%. The dollar was falling vs. the yen but gaining on the euro and pound.
Credit markets were loosening. Three-month dollar Libor, a measure of the rate banks charge one another for large loans, was down 17 basis points to 2.86%. Overnight Libor slipped 2 basis points to 0.39%.
Abroad, European exchanges were mixed, as the FTSE in London lost ground but the Dax held to a fractional gain. In
, Japan's Nikkei was closed for a holiday, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng finished on the upside.