Shares of Mattel (NASDAQ: MAT) were up 10.1% as of 12:15 p.m. EDT Tuesday, both as trade tensions eased and after the toy maker announced a pair of new partnerships.
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On the former, keep in mind Mattel stock has plunged multiple times in recent weeks on fears that President Trump's tariff-driven trade wars could hurt the U.S. economy and, in turn, stem the domestic consumer spending on which Mattel heavily relies. Broader market indexes are rebounding today -- with both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 up around 1.6% as of this writing -- following comments from Chinese government officials indicating they may be willing to hold fresh talks to resolve their trade issues with the United States.
It certainly helps that Mattel announced a new international licensing agreement with Sanrio this morning, through which it will develop a "wide array" of products based on Hello Kitty & Friends and Hello Kitty Cafe, as well as a number of other popular Sanrio brands including Keroppi, Chococat, Little Twin Stars, and My Melody. The toys will hit stores around the world starting Fall 2020.
Late yesterday, Mattel Films also announced a new deal with Blumhouse Productions -- the studio behind films such as Get Out, Ma, and Halloween -- to create a film based on its Magic 8 Ball toy. The project is Mattel's sixth live-action feature film and signals the company's accelerated efforts to diversify the monetization of its enviable product portfolio.
Still, barring any fresh color on Mattel's performance before its next quarterly update in early July, the stock will likely remain at the mercy of the broader markets and progress (or lack thereof) on the global trade front. Until we know more, I'm personally content continuing to watch Mattel stock from the sidelines.
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