Stock Market Today: Stocks Finish Mixed as Nasdaq Adds to Recent Gains

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks finished mixed Monday in a quiet session following a raucous close to October that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 hit record highs on Friday following a surprise move by the Bank of Japan to ramp up stimulus in the world's third-largest economy.

The Dow fell 0.14% to close at 17,366.24. Like the S&P 500, the index flitted in and out of positive territory throughout Monday. Home Depot (HD) received a downgrade from Raymond James. The stock declined 1.5%.

The S&P 500 slipped by 0.01% to close at 2,017.81. It had risen to an intraday record earlier in the trading day. The index is coming off its best two-week period since December 2011.

Nasdaq, which closed on Friday at levels not seen since the dot-com bubble burst, rose 0.18% to finish at 4,638.91. Nasdaq has risen 11 of the past 13 sessions.

Investors will be gearing up this week for the mid-term elections on Tuesday, and the October U.S. jobs report scheduled to be made public on Friday.

Manufacturing reports on Monday were mixed. Markit's U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers index registered a final 55.9 in October, the lowest final reading since August. In September, the index was 57.9. However, the Institute for Supply Management index for October was 59.0, up from 56.6 in September, on a surge in new orders. Sixteen of 18 manufacturing industries rose in October.

U.S. construction spending for September declined 0.4%. It was the second straight month that construction spending declined.

Shares of digital ad specialist Sapient (SAPE) rose 42% to $24.58 in trading on Monday after France's Publicis (PUBGY) agreed to buy the company for $3.7 billion.

Covance (CVD) shares soared 26% to $100.71 after agreeing to be acquired by LabCorp (LH) for about $6.1 billion. LabCorp shares fell 7.4%.

Argentine authorities accused Procter & Gamble (PG) of tax fraud and suspended its operations in the country. The stock rose 0.1%..

Shares of iPhone maker Apple (AAPL) rose 1.3% after The Wall Street Journal reported the company is planning an investor call ahead of a potential bond sale.

Ford (F) said total U.S. vehicle sales in October declined 1.7%. The stock slipped 0.9%. Sales in October at General Motors (GM) rose 0.2% but came in below expectations. GM shares fell 0.7%.

European stocks declined while Asian shares ended Monday's session mixed after a report pointed to manufacturing weakness in China, the world's second-largest economy. A similar report from the eurozone said gains in the manufacturing sector in the region were modest.

The Japanese yen fell to a seven-year low against the dollar following the surprise stimulus announcement from the Bank of Japan on Friday.

Benchmark U.S. crude closed Monday at $78.78 a barrel, down $1.76.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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