US STOCKS-Energy shares weigh on Wall St but merger activity supports
* Baker Hughes rallies, Halliburton tumbles after deal
* DreamWorks shares slide as Hasbro talks stall
* Indexes down: Dow 0.1 pct; S&P 500 0.2 pct; Nasdaq 0.5 pct (Updates to midday, changes comment)
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, Nov 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Monday, as energy shares dropped alongside crude futures after Japan slipped into recession, while merger and acquisition activity and hopes for more stimulus capped declines and kept indexes near record highs.
The M&A news partly offset the declines as Allergan agreed to be bought by Actavis while Halliburton said it would buy Baker Hughes. Allergan and Baker Hughes were the top point gainers on the S&P 500.
Japan's economy unexpectedly slipped into recession in the third quarter, setting the stage for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to delay an unpopular sales tax hike and call a snap election two years before he has to go to the polls.
The Japanese data hurt crude futures prices, with Brent off 1.1 percent at $78.55 per barrel. Brent futures prices have fallen in the last eight weeks and are down more than 30 percent from June.
The energy sector fell 0.8 percent, the largest weight on the S&P 500. Continuación...