* Exxon, Chevron up slightly after results
* LinkedIn, Abbvie soar after results
* Keycorp down after agreeing to buy First Niagara
* Consumer spending barely rose in September
* Dow up 0.01 pct, S&P down 0.05 pct, Nasdaq up 0.14 pct (Adds details, updates prices)
By Abhiram Nandakumar
Oct 30 (Reuters) - Wall Street was little changed on the last trading day of what could be the best month for stocks in four years as investors assessed consumer spending data and results from energy majors.
The S&P consumer staples sector slipped 0.61 percent after data showed U.S. consumer spending barely rose in September and the University of Michigan’s index on consumer sentiment came in below expectations.
The three major indexes have rallied about 9 percent in October, mostly driven by the Fed’s decision to keep rates unchanged at its September meeting and largely positive third-quarter results.
Energy majors Exxon and Chevron reported better-than- expected results, helped by strong refining margins. The stocks were up about 1 percent.
“My expectation today is that the market closes relatively close to where it is now - not much above, not much below,” said Bob Phillips, managing principal of Spectrum Management Group in Indianapolis.
At 10:51 a.m. ET (1451 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average was up 1.41 points, or 0.01 percent, at 17,757.21, the S&P 500 was down 1.02 points, or 0.05 percent, at 2,088.39 and the Nasdaq composite index was up 6.90 points, or 0.14 percent, at 5,081.17.
As the earning season winds down, investors will be looking at data over the next several weeks for clues on the state of the economy before the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting in December.
The Fed made it clear on Wednesday that a rate hike in December was still possible if there was sufficient evidence that the economy could withstand an increase.
Abbvie was up 10.5 percent at $59.76, giving the biggest boost to the S&P 500, while CVS Health fell 6.2 percent to $97.40 after results.
Keycorp fell 6.4 percent to $12.52 after it said it would buy First Niagara Financial for $4.1 billion. First Niagara rose less than a percent.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals was down 4.6 percent at $106.32 after it said it was cutting all ties with specialty pharmacy Philidor.
LinkedIn shot up 13 percent to $237.76 while Expedia jumped 7.5 percent to $136.59 after their quarterly results beat estimates.
Baidu’s U.S.-listed shares were up 7.2 percent at $181.12 after strong results and provided the biggest boost to the Nasdaq.
Strong results from blue-chips have helped improve analyst sentiment, with profits at S&P 500 companies now expected to fall 1.7 percent, far less than the 4.9 percent drop forecast at the start of earnings season, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,477 to 1,344. On the Nasdaq, 1,347 issues fell and 1,180 advanced.
The S&P 500 index showed 11 new 52-week highs and three new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 30 new highs and 50 new lows. (Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)