Stocks Little Changed to Start the Week

By Akane Otani and Riva Gold 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 23 points, or 0.1%, to 23351. The S&P 500 fell less than 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.2%. All three indexes closed at fresh highs Friday.

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 and investors expect corporate news to drive much of the action in the coming days.

"Listening to companies on their earnings calls, I think the general trend is still looking pretty positive," said Jeremy Bryan, a portfolio manager at Gradiant Investments. While some sectors like the insurance industry have reported weaker results, partially because of damage from hurricanes earlier this year, "we're looking through the one-time hits and still expecting robust growth into 2018," Mr. Bryan said.

Hasbro shares shed 9.1% after the toy maker posted sales and profit that beat analysts' expectations, but gave a downbeat projection for sales in the key holiday period.

Shares of State Street, which beat earnings estimates but posted foreign-exchange trading results that disappointed some analysts, fell 3.4%.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.3% as gains in 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.

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.

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.

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.

Ese Erheriene contributed to this article

Write to Akane Otani at akane.otani@wsj.com and Riva Gold at riva.gold@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 23, 2017 11:43 ET (15:43 GMT)