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Overnight Markets: US stocks gain as dividend payers advance

Overnight Markets: US stocks gain as dividend payers advance


Wall Street gained on Monday in morning session as a sharp decline in General Electric stocks was more than offset by advance in high dividend-paying sectors including consumer staples and utilities.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 17 points, or 0.07%, to 23,440, the S&P 500 gained three points, or 0.10% to 2,585 and the Nasdaq Composite added seven points, or 0.1%, to 6,758.

General Electric (GE.N) slashed its dividend by 50% and cut its profit forecast while unveiling a plan that narrowed its focus on aviation, power and healthcare. Shares of the industrial conglomerate fell 7.2% after touching a more than five-year low of $18.75.

Utilities and consumer staples rank among the sectors with the highest dividend yield on the S&P 500. They were also the largest percentage winning sectors on Monday.

Shares of regional banks rose after reports that a bipartisan group of Senate lawmakers reached a tentative agreement to ease some regulations on the sector. The KBW Regional Banking Index gapped lower at the open but turned positive mid-session and ended up 1.3% after steadily climbing in afternoon trading.

Investors are also closely tracking developments around the tax bill after US Senate Republicans last week unveiled a new plan that differed from the House of Representatives’ version.

Toymaker Mattel (MAT.O) jumped 20.7% after a report that rival Hasbro (HAS.O) made an approach to acquire the company. Hasbro rose 5.9%.

Qualcomm (QCOM.O) added 3.0% after the chipmaker rejected rival Broadcom’s (AVGO.O) $103-billion takeover bid, saying the offer “dramatically” undervalued the company.

Tyson Foods (TSN.N) shares climbed 2.0% after the meat processor said low prices for livestock feed will help boost results again next year. Shares touched their highest since September 2016.

Roku (ROKU.O) shares continued to rally, up 28.5%, more than doubling since the company reported earnings last week.

In Asia, shares were pressured on Tuesday in morning session following a lacklustre session on Wall Street that saw major indexes close just above the flat line.

The Nikkei 225 was off 0.08%, while across the Korean Strait, the Kospi lost 0.26%. Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.05%. In China, the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.32%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 0.12%.

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