U.S. Stocks Edge Up to Start the Week

By Marina Force and Akane Otani Features Dow Jones Newswires

U.S. stock indexes inched higher Monday amid a flurry of corporate news.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 17 points, or 0.1%, to 23440. The S&P 500 added 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.1%.

Shares of Mattel surged 21% 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 3% 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 7.2% after the company slashed its 2018 profit forecast and said it was cutting its dividend by half.

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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."

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 should shed light on the state of inflation with the Federal Reserve widely expected to increase rates in December.

"Stocks have certainly been on an incredible run," but much of their gains have been fueled by years of low-interest-rate policies from central banks around the world, said Dan Hughes, vice president and client portfolio manager at Vaughan Nelson.

As the Fed continues to tighten monetary policy, investors will have to become increasingly selective about the companies they put money in, Mr. Hughes added.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.7% and notched its fifth consecutive session of declines, weighed down by losses in shares of banks and insurance companies.

Japan's Nikkei Stock Average fell 1.3%, logging its largest one-day percentage decline since April.

South Korea's 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 akane.otani@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 13, 2017 16:23 ET (21:23 GMT)