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Consumer goods firms lead stocks slightly higher

Trader Tommy Kalikas works on the floor of

Trader Tommy Kalikas works on the floor of the NYSE, Nov. 6, 2017.  Photo Credit: AP / Richard Drew

Major stock indexes capped a day of mostly subdued trading with slight gains Monday.

Consumer and household goods companies led the market higher, offsetting losses by industrial and energy stocks.

A batch of corporate deal news also helped put investors in a buying mood. Mattel soared nearly 21 percent on a report that Hasbro offered to buy the rival toymaker.

General Electric slumped about 7 percent after cutting its dividend and releasing a weak forecast for next year.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 2.54 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,584.84. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 17.49 points, or 0.1 percent, to 23,439.70. The Nasdaq composite added 6.66 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,757.60.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks dipped 0.21 points, or 0.01 percent, to 1,475.07. More stocks fell than rose on the New York Stock Exchange.

The gains in consumer stocks and utilities, which also rose, suggest that investors were looking for yield, said Lindsey Bell, investment strategist at CFRA Research.

“They’re maybe showing a little bit of skepticism in the bull market that’s more than eight years old,” she said. “Maybe they’re feeling a little bit squeamish after last week.”

The stock market snapped an eight-week string of gains last week.

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