Merger news failed to generate enough excitement to push U.S. markets into the black Monday.
After a prolonged rally, stock gains took a breather. Economic data was scarce, but two online restaurant delivery services, GrubHub and Seamless, announced a merger. Generic drug firm Acvtivis said it would buy rival Warner Chilcott for $5 billion. And Royalty Pharma increased an offer for Irish drug firm Elan while scolding its board for numerous recent transactions that it said muddied the waters for shareholders.
Despite the news, markets plodded along. The Dow Jones industrial average shed 19.12 points or 0.12 percent to 15,335.28. The Standard & Poor's 500 gave up 1.18 points or 0.07 percent on the day to settle at 1,666.29. The Nasdaq composite index of tech-dominated stock shed 2.53 points or 0.07 percent to reach 3,496.43.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 1,747 stocks advanced and 1,337 declined on a volume of 3.2 billion shares traded.
The 10-year treasury note fell 4/32 to yield 1.967 percent.
The U.S. dollar fell to 102.26 yen, up from Friday's 102.77 yen. The euro rose to $1.2884 from $1.2843.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index gained 1.47 percent -- 222.69 points -- to 15,360.81. In Britain, the FTSE 100 index rose 0.48 percent, adding 32.57 points, to 6,755.63.
Gold was up, adding $29.30 to $1,394 per troy ounce.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil added 64 cents to $96.66 per barrel.
On the Chicago Board of Trade, corn for July delivery lost 2 3/4 cents to $6.50 per bushel. Soybeans for July added 16 1/2 cents to $14.65. Wheat for July gained 2 cents to $6.85 1/4.