Stocks were little changed on Monday as lingering worries about the subprime mortgage market offset optimism about corporate takeovers.
Shares of Bear Stearns fell 1.5 percent after the Wall Street Journal reported that investment bank Merrill Lynch has seized $400 million in assets of a troubled hedge fund at Bear Stearns Cos. Inc.
Shares of Alcoa gained 2.1 percent after the Times newspaper in London reported BHP Billiton Ltd/Plc, the world's biggest mining group, has revived plans for a $40 billion takeover of the aluminum producer.
Shares of Dow Jones edged up after the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal reported General Electric Co. and Pearson Plc may challenge News Corp.'s $5 billion bid for Dow Jones & Co.
Money still seems to be plentiful, and you are still seeing multiple potential acquirers for businesses, said Craig Hester, CEO of Hester Capital Management in Austin, Texas.
But the Bear Stearns story is indicative that we have not seen the end of the problems in the subprime market and its impact on the economy and financial markets, Hester said. I think the market will continue to be choppy.
The troubled subprime mortgage market offers risky loans to borrowers with poor credit histories.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 2.35 points, or 0.02 percent, at 13,637.13. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 1.88 points, or 0.12 percent, at 1,531.03. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 4.72 points, or 0.18 percent, at 2,621.99.
Shares of Apple Inc. rose 2.6 percent to $123.62 on Monday after the computer maker said its new iPhone will deliver significantly longer battery life when it starts to ship on June 29.
Symantec Corp.'s stock rose 2.5 percent to $20.20 after Goldman Sachs raised its rating on the stock of the antivirus software maker to buy from neutral.
Shares of Genesco Inc. rose 8.1 percent to $53.62 on Monday after athletic shoe retailer Finish Line Inc. said it agreed to buy the shoe and hat retailer for $54.50 per share or about $1.5 billion.
Shares of Cadence Design Corp fell 4.6 percent to $22.24 after the New York Times reported that talks aimed at a possible takeover by two private equity firms of the maker of software for designing computer chips had stalled over price.
Alcoa shares rose to $42.48, while Dow Jones' stock gained 0.5 percent to $58.70. Merrill Lynch lost 0.4 percent to $89.88, while Bear Stearns fell to $147.86.