US stocks firm ahead of elections

US stocks were little changed yesterday as investors held steady under a raft of earnings in anticipation of next week’s US elections and likely announcement of a new economic stimulus programme from the Federal Reserve.

The broader equities market edged lower after weak revenue forecasts from drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb and chip manufacturer Texas Instruments. Bristol-Myers fell 1.5 per cent to $26.74 and Texas Instruments shed 0.4 per cent to 28.86.

Losses were curbed after The Conference Board’s measure of US consumer confidence rose more than expected. The Dow Jones industrial average shed 1.86 points, or 0.02 per cent, to 11,162.19. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slipped 0.99 points, or 0.08 per cent, to 1,184.63. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 7.27 points, or 0.29 per cent, to 2,498.12.