17 de noviembre de 2014 / 19:28 / en 3 años

US STOCKS-Wall St near flat as merger news offsets Japan recession

* Baker Hughes rallies, Halliburton tumbles after deal

* Indexes: Dow up 0.1 pct; S&P 500 up 0.1 pct; Nasdaq down 0.3 pct (Updates to afternoon trading, changes byline)

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK, Nov 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were near flat Monday afternoon as deal activity in the energy and healthcare sectors offset concerns about overseas growth after Japan’s economy slipped into recession.

Shares of Baker Hughes, up 10.2 percent, and Allergan, up 5.1 percent, led gains on the S&P 500 after Halliburton said it would buy Baker Hughes and Allergan agreed to be bought by Actavis.

Weighing on the Nasdaq, which was underperforming both the Dow and S&P 500, were shares of Amazon, which fell 1.9 percent to $321.54, as well as Staples.

Energy shares dropped with crude futures after Japan’s economy unexpectedly slipped into recession in the third quarter. The S&P energy index fell 0.3 percent.

“Concern about deceleration of economic growth particularly in Asia” weighed on markets, said Chad Morganlander, portfolio manager at Stifel, Nicolaus & Co in Florham Park, New Jersey.

At 2:02 p.m., the Dow Jones industrial average rose 21.55 points, or 0.12 percent, to 17,656.29, the S&P 500 gained 1.76 points, or 0.09 percent, to 2,041.58 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 14.92 points, or 0.32 percent, to 4,673.62.

The largest percentage gainer on the S&P 500 was Baker Hughes, while the largest decliner was Halliburton, down 10.1 percent. Shares of Actavis were up 1.1 percent.

On the Nasdaq 100, the largest gainer was Mylan, which rose 2.6 percent, while the largest decliner was Staples, down 2.7 percent.

On the Nasdaq, Apple, down 0.1 percent, and Yahoo , up 0.3 percent, were among the most actively traded.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,625 to 1,403, for a 1.16-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 1,685 issues fell and 984 advanced for a 1.71-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.

The S&P 500 was posting 34 new 52-week highs and two new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 66 new highs and 55 new lows. (Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski)

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