MARKET SNAPSHOT: Dow Edges Higher After Two-week Slide

By Barbara Kollmeyer and Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Russell 2000 climbs

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U.S. stock-market indexes followed global equities higher on Monday as investors appeared to shrug off earlier worries about political uncertainty in Germany, returning their focus to corporate earnings and prospects for tax cuts.

Trading volumes are likely to gradually thin out this week, given the run-up to Thanksgiving Day on Thursday and an abbreviated session on Friday.

What are the main benchmarks doing?

The S&P 500 was up 2 points, or 0.1%, at 2,580 with gains in technology and consumer discretionary sectors offsetting losses in energy and health-care shares.

The Nasdaq Composite added 10 points, or 0.2%, to 6,793.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 41 points, or 0.2%, to 23,399. Cisco Systems Inc(CSCO) and IBM Corp (IBM) were leading the gains, up more than 1%. Merck & Co (MRK) and General Electric Co.(GE) were the biggest losers, down 2% and 1.6% respectively.

Modest gains on Monday come after two consecutive weeks of losses for the main indexes.

What are other assets doing?

The euro tumbled toward the $1.17 level (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/euro-plummets-as-uncertainty-in-germany-rattles-markets-2017-11-19) early Monday after German governmental coalition talks broke down (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/merkels-future-in-doubt-as-german-coalition-negotiations-break-down-2017-11-19) on Sunday, keeping the country's government in limbo and casting doubt over Chancellor Angela Merkel's future as leader.

But the shared currency subsequently pared losses and even briefly traded above $1.18, aided in part by a report in German newspaper Bild that the Free Democratic Party is ready to support a minority government headed by Merkel. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier urged the parties to engage in further talks (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/german-president-urges-parties-to-cooperate-avoid-new-election-2017-11-20-8915243) and avoid returning to the polls.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index was higher, while the German DAX 30 index also gained after erasing morning losses (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-stage-recovery-in-wake-of-german-political-uncertainty-2017-11-20). In Asian trading hours, the Nikkei (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/euro-slides-dragging-down-asian-stock-markets-2017-11-19) dropped 0.6% after the euro's slide pushed up the yen , considered a haven in times of economic and political uncertainty.

Oil futures and gold prices drifted south.

Don't miss:The euro still 'can break higher'--analysts react to Germany's political uncertainty (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-euro-still-can-break-higher-analysts-react-to-germanys-political-uncertainty-2017-11-20)

What are strategists saying?

"The consensus trade on Wall Street has been buying European equities versus U.S. equities, but that's on the condition that Europe is politically stable. When Merkel could not get her coalition, there was a short-lived flight to quality," said Diane Jaffee, senior portfolio manager at TCW.

Jaffee noted that with bond yields so low or negative in some cases, equities are still attractive for many investors.

"Earnings growth, especially revenue growth continues to support U.S. equities," Jaffee said.

See:This green-energy stock is getting whacked by tax-reform fears--here's how to play it (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-green-energy-stock-is-getting-whacked-by-tax-reform-fears-heres-how-to-play-it-2017-11-20)

Which stocks look like key movers?

Shares in Cavium Inc.(CAVM) rose 7% following news that Marvell Technology Group Ltd.(MRVL) has signed a deal to buy the fellow chip maker for about $6 billion (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/caviums-stock-surges-after-marvells-buyout-bid-in-a-deal-valued-at-6-billion-2017-11-20). Marvell 's stock was roughly flat .

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s stock (BABA) gained 1.5% after the e-commerce giant said it would buy a 36% stake in Chinese big-box retailer Sun Art Retail Group Ltd. (6808.HK) for $2.9 billion (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/alibaba-to-buy-29-billion-stake-in-chinese-hypermarket-chain-2017-11-20).

What economic data are due?

A report on leading economic indicators for October is scheduled for release at 10 a.m. Eastern Time.

Check out:MarketWatch's Economic Calendar (http://www.marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic)

Read:Fed speeches show readiness to raise rates next month, wariness about recession (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fed-speeches-show-readiness-to-raise-rates-next-month-and-a-wariness-about-next-recession-2017-11-17)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 20, 2017 10:19 ET (15:19 GMT)