By Anora Mahmudova and Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- The U.S. stock market struggled for direction Monday amid a flurry of deal news, including the takeover of Family Dollar Stores Inc. by Dollar Tree Inc.

Home-sales data will kick off a busy weekfor economic updates, the biggest of which will be the monthly jobs report on Friday. Investors will also get a Federal Open Market Committee decision mid-week.

The S&P 500 (SPX) opened less than a point lower at 1,977.48. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) shed 12 points, or 0.1%, to 16,947.61. The Nasdaq Composite (RIXF) was a points higher at 4,451.20.

Follow MarketWatch's live blog of today's stock-market action.

Pending home sales for June will be released at 10 a.m. Eastern Time. The pace of data speeds up as the week continues. Between Wednesday and Friday, investors will get second-quarter gross domestic product, a Fed decision and July payrolls among other economic items of importance. Get ready for 48 hours of economic fury

Fears of a bubble bursting won't rest, said Joao Monteiro, analyst at Valutrades. "This story may be looking a little over-brokered, but with the quiet summer sessions lying ahead, even just a smallshock could be all it takes to precipitate a big move," he said in a note to clients. Also read: Stock trader who called three crashes sees 20% collapse

Goldman Sachs on Friday cut its three-month view on global stocks to neutral, over concerns a temporary bond selloff could hit equities.

Mid-July, Goldman raised its year-end target for the S&P 500 index to 2,050 from 1,900, making the investment bank one of the most bullish on Wall Street.

"Merger Monday" began with a deal in the retail industry. Family Dollar Stores(FDO), soared 22% after Dollar Tree (DLTR) said it would buy the rival discount retailer for $74.50 a share, a roughly 23% premium over Family Dollar's closing price on Friday. Dollar Tree shares were up around 7.6%. Rival Dollar General Corp.(DG) fell 2.1%.

Shares in Zillow Inc (ZILLOW.XX) fell 3.5% after the real-estate website said it is buying a rival Turlia Inc(TRLA) for $3.5 billion in stock. Trulia jumped 12%.El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. (LOCO) surged 15%. The Mexican fast-food chain soared 60% in its Nasdaq debut on Friday.

Among Monday's earnings reports, Tyson Foods (TSN) posted earnings that missed Wall Street views, although revenue topped forecasts. Tyson shares rose 4%.

Herbalife Ltd. (HLF) will report after the close on Monday. Follow more of the day's notable movers here.

Across other markets, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed at highs not seen in more than three years on Monday, after reports that a plan to allow direct stock trading between Hong Kong and Shanghai could be launched mid-October. European stocks had trouble making headway as U.S. stock futures leaned south.

Oil prices (CLU4) pushed lower, while gold (GCU4) was a touch higher, and the U.S. dollar index(DXY), which measures the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, was largely steady.

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Behind the wild collapsein small-cap stocks

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Buy-and-hold investing is impossible

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 28, 2014 09:36 ET (13:36 GMT)

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