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Monday, October 23, 2017

Stocks Trade Lower to Start Week

Charles Schwab: On the Market
Posted: 10/23/2017 4:15 PM EDT

Stocks Trade Lower to Start Week
U.S. stocks finished Monday's trading session lower ahead of a heavy dose of earnings and economic data set to be released this week. Treasury yields dipped and the U.S. dollar ticked higher. Crude oil prices diverged and gold was little changed. In equity news, Hasbro reported disappointing Q4 guidance and VF Corp posted upbeat quarterly results, while in M&A action, Dow member Cisco agreed to acquire BroadSoft for approximately $1.9 billion in cash.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) declined 55 points (0.2%) to 23,274, the S&P 500 Index lost 10 points (0.4%) to 2,565, and the Nasdaq Composite fell 42 points (0.6%) to 6,587. In moderate volume, 757 million shares were traded on the NYSE and 1.8 billion shares changed hands on the Nasdaq. WTI crude oil ticked $0.06 higher to $51.90 per barrel and wholesale gasoline was unchanged at $1.68 per gallon. Elsewhere, the Bloomberg gold spot price inched $2.02 higher to $1,282.49 per ounce, and the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—was 0.1% higher at 93.84.

Hasbro Inc. (HAS $90) reported Q3 earnings-per-share (EPS) of $2.09, or $2.05 ex-items, versus the $1.94 FactSet estimate, as revenues grew 7.0% year-over-year (y/y) to $1.8 billion, roughly in line with expectations. The toy company said the quarter presented several obstacles, including challenging economic environments in the U.K. and Brazil and the Toys"R"Us bankruptcy filing in the U.S. and Canada, but it saw growth in franchise brands, and its gaming and emerging brands. HAS issued Q4 revenue guidance that missed expectations but said it is well positioned for the holiday period. Shares saw solid pressure.

Dow member Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO $34) announced an agreement to acquire cloud calling and contact center solutions company BroadSoft Inc. (BSFT $55) for $55 per share in cash, or an aggregate purchase price of $1.9 billion net of cash. Shares of both companies traded higher.

VF Corp. (VFC $70) posted Q3 earnings of $0.97 per share, or $1.23 ex-items, versus the forecasted $1.12, with revenues rising 5.0% y/y to $3.5 billion, above the projected $3.4 billion. The apparel conglomerate's gross margin improved solidly, while it saw double-digit international revenue growth and revenue from its Vans brand jumped. VFC raised its full-year guidance and quarterly dividend. Shares rallied.

Earnings and economic data set to fly this week

Treasuries ticked higher with the economic calendar quiet today. The yields on the 2-year and 10-year notes, along with the 30-year bond, dipped 1 basis point to 1.56%, 2.37% and 2.89%, respectively.
This week, the tone for the markets will likely be set by the continued ramp-up of earnings season, and the economic calendar culminating with the first look (of three) at Q3 GDP. As noted in the latest Schwab Market Perspective: Preparing for the Latter Innings, U.S. stocks continue to grind higher, with little appearing able to knock them off course. The possibility of a pullback always exists but a melt up is also reemerging as a real possibility. Earnings tend to drive equity market direction, and the next few weeks should help set the tone for market action for the rest of the year. Expectations came down a bit as we entered reporting season and recent robust economic data gives support to the potential for companies to meet and/or beat estimates. Global economic growth continues to improve, which should help support both domestic and global stock markets. Read more on the Market Commentary page at

Treasury yields and the U.S. dollar have found some support amid speculation regarding who the next Fed Chief will be as the Central Bank heads toward a December rate hike and has begun reducing its massive balance sheet, while the Senate passed its budget resolution last week to nudge tax reform down the lengthy path to fruition.

Schwab's Chief Fixed Income Strategist, Kathy Jones offers analysis of the Fed in her article, Understanding the Federal Reserve's Shrinking Balance Sheet, and the video with Vice President of Trading and Derivatives, Randy Frederick, Should a Change in Fed Leadership Matter to Investors?. Schwab's Vice President of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, Michael T. Townsend discusses the likely elongated journey of tax reform in the article, Tax Reform Framework Released, But The Road Ahead Is Long.

Check out these articles and video on the Market Commentary page at and follow Jeff, Kathy, Randy and Schwab on Twitter: @jeffreykleintop, @kathyjones, @randyafrederick and @schwabresearch.

Treasuries ticked higher with the economic calendar quiet today. Tomorrow, the economic calendar will yield the release of preliminary Markit Manufacturing and Services PMI Indexes for October, with economists anticipating readings of 53.5 and 55.2, respectively, with manufacturing ticking higher and services inching lower from the final September prints. We'll also receive the Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index for October, expected to have declined to 17 from 19, though a reading above zero denotes expansion in activity.

Europe and Asia finish mixed 

European equity markets finished mixed as global economic optimism continued to support the markets, while Spanish banks weighed on the financial sector, along with pressure on bond yields in the region. Political uneasiness remained as Spain announced a decision to take control of Catalonia. For analysis of the political concerns in the region, see Schwab's Jeffrey Kleintop's, CFA, and Randy Frederick's video, Political Risk: How Should Investors Respond?, on the Market Commentary page at Also, the global markets eyed the weekend's big victory for Japanese Prime Minister Abe, while U.K. business optimism fell sharply in October, with the deadlocked Brexit negotiations likely weighing on sentiment. For a look at Brexit, check out our article, Brexit Begins: What's Next for the U.K?, also on the Market Commentary page at The euro was down and British pound was little changed versus the U.S. dollar, which is extended recent gains on lingering global economic optimism and Fed leadership speculation.

Stocks in Asia finished mixed, with a landslide victory in a snap election in Japan for Prime Minister Abe, who secured a super majority pushing the Nikkei 225 Index to a record 15-straight sessions of gains at highs not seen since July 1996, bolstered by weakness in the yen as the election victory appeared to solidify expectations of continued fiscal spending and easy monetary policies, known as Abenomics. Japan's markets have contributed to the global rally and Schwab's Chief Investment Strategist Liz Ann Sonders talks with Schwab's Randy Frederick in the video, Tracking Sentiment: Are Investors Too Optimistic About Stocks?, discussing that there seems to be no end in sight to the bull market in equities, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to worry about. See this video on the Market Commentary page at and follow Liz Ann on Twitter: @lizannsonders.
Stocks trading in mainland China ticked higher and shares trading in Hong Kong declined amid some disappointing earnings reports and as the nation's September property price report showed home prices slowed to weigh on developers. Australian securities decreased and South Korean equities finished flat. Indian stocks advanced, returning to action following a two-day holiday to end last week.

The international economic docket for tomorrow will offer the Nikkei Manufacturing PMI from Japan, consumer confidence from Australia and preliminary Markit Manufacturing and Services PMI reports from Germany, France and the Eurozone.

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