GE shares hit as dividend and profit outlook cut

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BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty

Shares in General Electric fell nearly 4% in early trade after the US conglomerate announced a revamp that could result in a smaller company.

Under the plans, GE will focus on the aviation, power and healthcare sectors.

The company also cut its dividend – for only the third time in its 125-year history – and halved its full-year profit forecast.

GE was the biggest faller on the Dow Jones, although the industrial average was up 12.59 points at 23,434.80.

The wider S&P 500 index was little changed at 2,582.27, while the Nasdaq index slipped 3.22 points to 6,747.72.

Shares in Barbie maker Mattel jumped almost 20% after a report in the Wall Street Journal said rival Hasbro – which owns the My Little Pony and Monopoly brands – had made a takeover approach for the company.

Qualcomm shares rose 1.25% after it rejected a $103bn takeover bid from rival chipmaker Broadcom. Shares in Broadcom dipped 0.4%.

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