November 13, 2017 / 4:38 PM / 6 days ago

US STOCKS-Wall St flat as GE, tax plan doubts weigh

* GE down after cutting FY 2018 profit forecast

* Mattel jumps on reports of Hasbro buyout offer

* Qualcomm rejects Broadcom’s $103-billion takeover bid

* Indexes down: Dow 0.01 pct, S&P 0.04 pct, Nasdaq 0.1 pct (Changes comment, updates prices, adds details)

By Sruthi Shankar

Nov 13 (Reuters) - Wall Street was little changed in late morning trading on Monday as GE’s dismal outlook weighed on indexes and investors fretted over the future of the U.S. tax reform plan.

General Electric dropped 4.4 percent after the industrial conglomerate cut its 2018 profit forecast, slashed dividend and unveiled a restructuring plan.

With the third-quarter earnings season on its last leg, investors are closely tracking developments around the tax bill as well as economic data to make their bets.

Senate Republicans last week unveiled a new plan that differed from the House of Representatives’ version and there were few signs of a compromise.

“The process is moving forward. We’ve listened to snippets of state local taxes and deductions. But we won’t really know what the end result looks like unless they put together in the Senate and House version,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York.

“The real difficulty will be pulling the two things together.”

Hopes of lower taxes, one of President Donald Trump’s main campaign promises, have helped drive the S&P 500 up 20 percent since the 2016 presidential election.

At 10:48 a.m. ET (1448 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1.93 points, or 0.01 percent, at 23,420.28, the S&P 500 was down 0.94 points, or 0.04 percent, at 2,581.36 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 6.56 points, or 0.1 percent, at 6,744.38.

Seven of the 11 major S&P indexes were lower led by industrial stocks. Investors turned to defensive utilities and consumer staples stocks amid the tax bill uncertainty.

Toymaker Mattel jumped about 20 percent after a report that rival Hasbro has made an approach to acquire the company. Hasbro rose 6.6 percent.

Qualcomm rose 1.44 percent after the chipmaker rejected rival Broadcom’s $103-billion takeover bid, saying the offer “dramatically” undervalued the company.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,664 to 1,066. On the Nasdaq, 1,681 issues fell and 1,049 advanced. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D‘Silva)

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