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Stock Market Today: A "Lego" Hit And a Disappointing Outlook for Sohu

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Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

Investors can expect a soft start to the stock market today, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) lost 48 points, or 0.3%, in premarket trading. European indexes were mostly flat in overnight trading while Asian shares rallied, led by a 1.8% bounce in Japan's Nikkei.

Meanwhile, news is breaking this morning on several stocks that could see heavy trading in today's session, including Time Warner (NYSE: TWX  ) , Sohu (NASDAQ: SOHU  ) , and Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS  ) .

Time Warner scored a hit at the box office with The Lego Movie, which took in $69 million in opening-weekend receipts. The company's Warner Bros. studio just closed the books on a record 2013 at theaters, thanks to adult-themed entertainment such as Gravity and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. But this weekend's successful launch in the animated film category means that Time Warner has a wider market to challenge, and that Disney and DreamWorks can expect even more competition in this space. Time Warner's stock is unchanged in premarket trading.

Sohu this morning announced that sales rose by a blistering 29% in the fourth quarter, to reach $385 million. The Chinese search giant also booked profit of $0.12 a share, down significantly from the $0.73 it saw a year before. While those results broadly met Wall Street's expectations, investors might be focused instead on the company's conservative outlook for the first quarter of 2014, which called for about $360 million in sales -- below the $380 million that analysts were forecasting. Sohu's stock is down 9% in premarket trading.

Finally, Hasbro shares are down about 2% in premarket trading after the company posted fourth-quarter earnings results. Sales growth was flat at $1.28 billion, or just below the $1.3 billion that analysts expected. Adjusted earnings were $1.12 a share, roughly 7% lower than last year's result. Hasbro saw big gains in its girls business, as the Furby and My Little Pony brands sold well. However, weakness in its boys category completely offset those gains thanks to declines in Beyblade and Marvel products. Still, Hasbro continued to generate healthy cash flow in the quarter, and used some of that growing financial strength to boost its dividend by 8% to $0.43 a share.

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Demitrios Kalogeropoulos

Demitrios covers consumer goods and media companies for, as well as broader moves in the economy.

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Related Tickers

8/28/2015 4:55 PM
^DJI $16643.01 Down -11.76 -0.07%
HAS $75.51 Up +0.37 +0.49%
Hasbro CAPS Rating: ****
SOHU $47.68 Up +0.19 +0.40% CAPS Rating: ***
TWX $72.38 Down -0.44 -0.60%
Time Warner CAPS Rating: ***