Stocks on Wall Street slipped in low volume on Monday as traders awaiting the result of the eelctions on Tuesday.
Investors are also worried about how the United States will deal with the $US600 billion in spending cuts and tax rises - the fiscal cliff - due to begin next year and send the economy reeling.
The Dow Jones Index was down 23 points, or 0.17%, to 13,070. The Nasdaq Composite was up half a point to 2982.
European shares fell as political uncertainty in Greece hurt sentiment and investors stayed on the sidelines before the US election.
Across the Tasman, the Australian 200 Index closed on Monday up 14 points, or 0.3%, at 4,474 and the NZX50 index fell 6 points, or 0.1%, to close at 3908.
The New Zealand dollar on Tuesday was trading at 82.47 US cents, 79.56 Australian cents, 51.64 pence, 66.19 yen and 0.6451 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was at 73.92.
Brent crude oil was trading at $US106.95 per barrel and gold was trading at $US1683.31 per ounce.