Stocks began the new month in the red as uncertainty over the upcoming presidential election weighed on Wall Street. Most polls show Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton leading a narrower race. Manufacturing activity in the U.S. in October improved by slightly more than expected. A comeback in manufacturing has been welcome after a higher U.S. dollar and low oil prices stunted growth for months. Construction spending in September showed a surprise decrease. Private nonresidential construction weighed on the total as commercial and manufacturing building activity declined. August's number was also revised to show a smaller increase. Gannett (GCI - Get Report) jumped after abandoning its bid to purchase newspaper publisher Tronc (TRNC) . The two had failed to reach an agreement on price after months of talks. Tronc shares slumped on Tuesday. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from Wall Street.