Stocks Waver to Start the Week

11/13/17 11:17 AM EST
By Marina Force and Akane Otani 

U.S. stock indexes wobbled near the flatline Monday amid a flurry of corporate news.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged down 1.1 point, or less than 0.1%, to 23421. The S&P 500 fell less than 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite lost less than 0.1%.

Corporate news and takeover bids drove swings in shares of companies across the industrial, consumer-discretionary and technology sectors while leaving major indexes little changed.

Shares of Mattel surged 19% after The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Hasbro made a takeover offer for the company in a deal that would unite the two biggest U.S. toy makers.

Qualcomm shares rose 0.8% after the chip maker said its board rejected a $105 billion takeover bid from Broadcom. The offer, which Broadcom made to Qualcomm last week, would have been the largest technology takeover ever.

General Electric shares fell 3.4% after the company slashed its 2018 profit forecast and said it was cutting its divided by half.

Meanwhile, investors said they would be continuing to watch developments on a U.S. tax overhaul effort in Washington.

Senate and House Republicans have released two different bills that diverge in some key areas, including the timing of a corporate tax cut. Hopes for tax cuts helped bank stocks, bond yields and the U.S. dollar jump after the November 2016 election, although many of those moves have faded this year as investors have contended with uncertainty around policy changes.

"I think we will eventually see some tax bill, but the timing is highly uncertain as the Senate bill is really different" from the one in the House, said Zhiwei Ren, managing director at Penn Mutual Asset Management. "So there will be a lot of back-and-forth negotiation to get it passed."

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.8%, weighed down by losses in shares of banks and insurance companies.

Later this week, analysts say they will be eyeing addresses by central bank leaders, with European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen both set to speak Tuesday.

Analysts will also be watching for the latest consumer-price index reading due Wednesday, which they say could shed light on the state of inflation. While the Federal Reserve is widely expected to increase rates in December, a soft inflation reading could fuel the debate around the flattening of the U.S. yield curve.

Government bonds edged higher Monday, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note falling to 2.388%, according to Tradeweb, from 2.397% Friday. Yields fall as bond prices rise.

Earlier in Asia, most major stock indexes logged declines.

After seeing its biggest drop percentage-wise in two months Friday, Japan's Nikkei Stock Average fell 1.3% despite a pullback in the yen.

In South Korea, the Kospi index closed down 0.5%, while Hong Kong's benchmark index got a boost from technology stocks.

Ese Erheriene contributed to this article.

Write to Akane Otani at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 13, 2017 11:17 ET (16:17 GMT)

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