A late-day sell-off, ahead of the U.S. Senate vote on the compromised tax bill, pushed the major equity indices to session lows, resulting in a mixed performance for stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 18.24 points, or 0.16 percent, at 11,428.56; The S&P 500 Index edged up 0.06 of a point, or 0.00 percent, at 1,242.46. The Nasdaq Composite lost 12.63 points, or 0.48 percent, at 2,624.91.

The Chinese central bank decided to raise lenders' requirements rather than hiking benchmark interest rates over the weekend, reducing concerns that monetary tightening would slow down the nation’s giant economy.

A slew of merger-and-acquisitions activity provided an early-session boost to today’s trading.

General Electric (NYSE: GE) offered to buy Wellstream Holdings, maker of products for oil and gas transportation in the subsea production industry, for $1.3-billion.

Dionex (NASDAQ: DNEX) surged 20.02 percent after Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE: TMO) said it would acquire the company for about $2.1 billion,

Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) said it purchased Compellent Technologies (NYSE: CML) for $27.75 per share in cash.

Bonds moved higher the yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury fell to 3.28 percent.

Oil for January delivery climbed to more than $88 per barrel, while gold futures for February delivery gained to more than $1,393 an ounce.

European/UK stocks rose showed decent gains

Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.82 percent, the DAX in Germany climbed 0.33 percent and France's CAC-40 jumped 0.91 percent.