Stocks opened firmly in the red Monday as some early company news hurt early trade and investors weighed in on a federal tax reform vote later this week.
[ibd-display-video id=2632928 width=50 float=left autostart=true] The Dow Jones industrial average, the Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 all downshifted 0.3% at the starting bell.
The week’s economic news gets a slow start Monday, and the pace of quarterly earnings reports slows to a crawl. The GOP tax bill will be a focal point for the markets, with leaders in the House pushing for a vote sometime Thursday. No vote is yet planned on a separate bill underway in the Senate.
General Electric ( GE ) dived 1.2% in open trade, to the bottom of the Dow. The company announced it would halve its quarterly dividend to 12 cents a share, amid plans by Chief Executive John Flannery to concentrate the diversified leader’s efforts around its aviation, power and health-care businesses. Restructuring is also expected across the company’s corporate and management offices. Flannery had been conducting a strategic review since taking his post Aug. 1.
Boeing ( BA ) edged a fraction higher after a wave of aircraft deals announced from the Dubai Air Show . Dubai’s Emirates airline, as well as Azerbaijan Airlines and Kuwait-based Aviation Lease and Finance Company all agreed to deals valued at a total of $19.2 billion. Boeing shares are pulled back in a test of support at their 10-week moving average, extended above a flat base buy point at 246.59.
Apple ( AAPL ) slumped 0.3% in early trade. The iPhone maker issued $7 billion in debt, proceeds of which the company typically uses to pay shareholder dividends and fund share buybacks. Shares are extended above a 160.97 buy point in a cup-with-handle base.
Mattel ( MAT ) spiked 20% at the open. News reports late Friday said larger competitor Hasbro ( HAS ) had made an offer for the company . Hasbro shares climbed 5%. Mattel shares ended Friday down 58% from an April 2016 high.
Meat producer Tyson Foods (TSN) opened flat after reporting a strong fiscal fourth-quarter performance, lifting its full-year revenue guidance above consensus targets and hiking its dividend 33%. The stock has been working to gain ground above a 72.32 buy point, in a handle formed on a 14-month base .
Aecom (ACM), a heavyweight name in infrastructure construction, slipped 3% after delivering fiscal fourth-quarter results above analysts targets, but its full-year 2018 earnings guidance was weaker than expected. Aecom is trading below a 37.35 buy point in a cup-with-handle base.
Several China-based names were in early motion Monday, after earnings reports and strong early results from the 11.11 Global Shopping Festiva l launched by Alibaba Holding Group (BABA) in 2009.
Four-week old Qudian (QD) perked up 5% in premarket trade, following its first report as a publicly traded company. The wildly volatile new issue, a China-based provider of credit and small cash loans, on Friday traded 22% below its high, and almost 15% above its Oct. 18 IPO price.
Internet retail powerhouse JD.com (JD) swung 6% higher as investors pored over its third-quarter report. Shares ended Friday in a test of resistance at their 10-week moving average, below a 46.03 buy point in a possible double-bottom base .
Alibaba shares dipped 0.3% early Monday, after ending Friday slightly extended above a 177.10 buy point in an ascending base .
Among biotechs, Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR) vaulted 26% higher after announcing positive results from a phase 1 and 2 study of drugs from Nektar and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) combined into a m elanoma treatment. Nektar ended Friday up 37% for the week, and extended above a 24.98 buy point in a cup base buy point. Bristol-Myers shares traded 0.3% lower in early trade on Monday.
China’s markets advanced Monday, but profit taking was again evident in Japan, where Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 dropped 1.3%. Last week, the index managed to post a ninth straight weekly advance, but only after reversing off a high in a wildly volatile session Thursday. The index has gained 17.8% since early September.
Europe’s markets lost ground in afternoon trade, with London’s FTSE 100 down 0.3%, while Frankfurt’s DAX dropped 1.1% and the CAC-40 in Paris stumbled 1.3%.
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