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What Happened in the Stock Market Today

By Demitri Kalogeropoulos - Apr 24, 2017 at 4:53PM

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Hasbro and Kimberly-Clark stocks stood out with earnings reports as indexes jumped.

Stocks rallied on Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI -0.43%) and the S&P 500 (^GSPC -0.29%) indexes each finishing higher by more than 1%.

Today's stock market

Index

Percentage Change

Point Change

Dow

1.05%

216.13

S&P 500

1.08%

25.46

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

Financial stocks led the broader market higher, with the Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF -0.45%) jumping 2.25%. Gold prices fell by nearly 1%, which pushed the volatile leveraged bullish bet on the precious metal, Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bull 3X ETF (NUGT -1.66%), down 5.17%.

As for individual stocks, Hasbro (HAS -1.59%) and Kimberly-Clark (KMB 0.15%) attracted heavy investor interest following their respective quarterly earnings reports.

Outside the stock exchange in New York.

Image source: Getty Images.

Hasbro's winning the game

Hasbro shares jumped almost 6% following surprisingly strong first-quarter results for the toymaker, in which revenue ticked up 2% to $850 million and earnings jumped 41% to $0.54 per share. Analysts were looking for closer to $827 million of sales and profits of just $0.38 per share.

A Nerf toy gun.

Image source: Hasbro.

In contrast to rival Mattel, which last week revealed sharp sales declines across many key brands, Hasbro enjoyed steady growth at its core franchises including Monopoly, Nerf, and Transformers. Licensed brands as a group fell 18%, but that was due to an unusually strong prior-year period that included robust sales around Star Wars and Marvel theatrical releases.

Its overall increase also came courtesy of a spike in demand for its gaming segment that includes the digital mobile hit Transformers: Earth Wars.

"Our first-quarter results were consistent with the expectations we shared with you in February," CEO Brian Goldner said in a conference call to investors. The numbers "position us well to execute against the major theatrical and content releases as well as innovate new play experiences planned for the full year," he continued.

Despite a dip in profitability this quarter, Goldner and his team still expect operating profit margin to improve for the full year as sales growth speeds up thanks to big new releases ahead in the Disney Princess, Star Wars, and My Little Pony franchises.

Kimberly-Clark lowers expectations

Shares of consumer products giant Kimberly-Clark, which owns popular brands such as Kleenex and Huggies, dropped following the release of its fiscal first-quarter results, but the stock rebounded to a basically flat return for the day. The company posted declining organic sales thanks mainly to weakness in the key U.S. market. Executives blamed soft demand and spiking competition for the fact that revenue fell 3% in the U.S. geography.

But they were encouraged that they still managed to boost profits. "We delivered earnings growth in the first quarter despite a challenging environment, particularly in North America," CEO Thomas Falk said in a press release.

The company lowered its full-year sales growth outlook slightly -- to a range of between 1% and 2% compared to the earlier target of "approximately 2%." That new figure would mark the company's second straight year of decelerating sales. Kimberly-Clark still believes its 2017 gains will be driven by higher sales volumes, but investors will be hoping for better figures than the ones the company managed this quarter. Volumes rose by just 1% despite a more-than-1% drop in prices. If those negative trends continue, they're likely to overwhelm Kimberly-Clark's cost-cutting moves and push profitability lower.

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Stocks Mentioned

Hasbro, Inc. Stock Quote
Hasbro, Inc.
HAS
$80.58 (-1.59%) $-1.30
Kimberly-Clark Corporation Stock Quote
Kimberly-Clark Corporation
KMB
$135.36 (0.15%) $0.21
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return) Stock Quote
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return)
^DJI
$30,643.43 (-0.43%) $-102.91
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD) Stock Quote
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD)
^GSPC
$3,774.26 (-0.29%) $-11.12
Direxion Shares ETF Trust - Direxion Daily Gold Miners Index Bull 3X Shares Stock Quote
Direxion Shares ETF Trust - Direxion Daily Gold Miners Index Bull 3X Shares
NUGT
$33.78 (-1.66%) $0.57
The Select Sector SPDR Trust - The Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund Stock Quote
The Select Sector SPDR Trust - The Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund
XLF
$31.31 (-0.45%) $0.14

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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