Stocks Little Changed to Start the Week

By Riva Gold and Akane Otani Features Dow Jones Newswires

U.S. stocks trade in narrow range

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-- Nikkei on record streak after Japan elections

-- European stocks mostly higher

U.S. stock indexes wobbled near the flatline Monday after finishing at a trifecta of records last week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 27 points, or 0.1%, to 23357. The S&P 500 added less than 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.2%.

A flurry of earnings reports released before the opening bell drove swings in individual stocks while leaving major indexes little changed.

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With nearly 200 S&P 500 companies expected to report quarterly results this week, according to FactSet, and little on the economic calendar for much of the week, some analysts expect corporate news to drive much of the action in the coming days.

Hasbro shares shed 8.7% after the toy maker posted sales and profit that beat analysts' expectations, but gave a downbeat projection for fourth-quarter results.

Shares of Kimberly-Clark added 1.1% after the personal-care products company reported better-than-expected earnings before the opening bell.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.3% as gains in utilities and technology companies offset declines in the banking sector.

Investors this week will be watching closely for the European Central Bank's plans to announce the fate of its giant bond-buying program at its meeting on Thursday, as well as any hints at the selection of the next chair of the Federal Reserve.

This "may be a potential turning point in the timeline for withdrawing accommodation," said Holly MacDonald, chief investment strategist at Bessemer Trust, noting the European Central Bank is facing constraints on continuing its program of quantitative easing.

Still, with the decision well-telegraphed to markets and no interest rate rise on the horizon for some time, the ECB's October meeting is unlikely to ruffle bond markets much, she said.

U.S. government bonds strengthened Monday, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note falling to 2.370%, according to Tradeweb, from 2.381% on Friday. Yields fall as bond prices rise.

The dollar inched higher, with the WSJ Dollar Index -- a measure of the dollar against a basket of 16 currencies -- recently up 0.2%.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei Stock Average rose 1.1%, rounding out its longest-ever winning streak with a 15th session of consecutive gains, after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe won a national election by a landslide.

While polls had largely been in Mr. Abe's favor, his election win raised investor hopes of continued market-friendly monetary policies and economic reforms.

"What we've seen this year is really Abenomics has succeeded in many ways," said Vincent Juvyns, global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, pointing to improvements in Japanese export figures, confidence surveys and shareholder-friendly corporate governance. Japan's economy has grown continuously for the past year-and-a-half, the longest stretch for more than a decade.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index reversed its opening gains to trade down 0.6% as investors turned cautious on Chinese banks ahead of their earnings releases this week and declines in property stocks weighed on the index.

Write to Riva Gold at and Akane Otani at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 23, 2017 10:49 ET (14:49 GMT)