Wall St edges lower as Fed worries offset M&A

US stocks slipped on Monday as concerns the Federal Reserve may scale back its efforts to stimulate the economy muted optimism over two big takeover bids.

The energy and materials sectors, which are sensitive to commodity prices and weaken when the dollar rises, led the way down as the Treasury bond market selloff picked up steam in the afternoon. The Dow Jones industrial average edged up 9.39 points, or 0.08 per cent, at 11,201.97. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was off 1.46 points, or 0.12 per cent, to 1,197.75. The Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 4.39 points, or 0.17 per cent, to 2,513.82.

Mergers and acquisitions kept the market afloat for most of the day after Caterpillar agreed to buy mining equipment maker Bucyrus International for $7.6bn and data storage equipment maker EMC Corp linked a deal to buy smaller rival Isilon Systems Inc for $2.25bn.

Bucyrus surged 29 per cent to $89.80, while Caterpillar rose 1 per cent to $81.82 and helped the Dow close slightly higher.