U.S. Stocks Edge Up to Start the Week

By Akane Otani and Marina Force Features Dow Jones Newswires

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

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The gains came after stocks slipped last week when investors grew concerned about the prospects for tax cuts.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 17.49 points, or less than 0.1%, to 23439.70 Monday. The S&P 500 added 2.54 points, or 0.1%, to 2584.84 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 6.66 points, or 0.1%, to 6757.60.

Shares of Mattel surged $3.02, or 21%, to $17.64 -- the stock's biggest one-day percentage gain since 1987 -- 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. Shares of Hasbro added 5.39, or 5.9%, to 96.84.

Qualcomm shares rose 1.92, or 3%, to 66.49 after the chip maker said its board rejected a $105 billion takeover bid from Broadcom.

General Electric fell 1.47, or 7.2%, to 19.02 after the company lowered earnings targets for 2018 and said it was cutting its annual dividend by $4 billion. It was the stock's lowest close since 2012 and its biggest percentage decrease since 2009.

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Meanwhile, investors said they would continue to watch developments on a tax-overhaul effort in Washington.

Hopes for tax cuts helped bank stocks, bond yields and the U.S. dollar jump after the November 2016 election, but 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 monitoring comments from central bank leaders, with European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen both set to speak Tuesday.

Analysts also will be watching for the latest consumer-price index reading due Wednesday, 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.

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.

Write to Akane Otani at akane.otani@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 13, 2017 16:48 ET (21:48 GMT)