Why the Dow's Heading Up Today

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With good news on rising consumer sentiment and falling jobless claims, the stock market is putting in a pretty good day so far. Just before 2 p.m., the Dow (INDEX: ^DJI) was up 72 points to 12,180, and the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) rose 11 points to 1,255.

Among the top performers in the Dow were Bank of America (NYS: BAC) , General Electric (NYS: GE) , and JPMorgan Chase (NYS: JPM) , all up more than 3%, with B of A climbing 5%. With all of these stocks having connections to the financial industry -- GE's finance division, GE Capital, makes up a big portion of its total revenue -- good news for the economy had an especially positive impact on them, as concerns about Europe and its possible impact on the global economy have been weighing especially hard on financial stocks for months.

On the losing side, Coca-Cola (NYS: KO) was the biggest loser, falling about 0.5% and giving back a small portion of its sharp gains over the past week. Despite an almost ubiquitous presence around the world, Coke has started moving into one of the few remaining frontier areas for the beverage giant: the Middle East. By buying into a major Saudi-based beverage business, Coke hopes to penetrate the Middle Eastern consumer market and gain a better competitive footing.

United Technologies (NYS: UTX) also lost ground, down about 0.4% just before 2 p.m. The company has been planning for slower growth in both Europe and North America, and with the final revision to U.S. GDP in the third quarter weighing in at 1.8%, those plans seem justified.

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At the time this article was published Fool contributor Dan Caplinger doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter here. The Motley Fool owns shares of JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Coca-Cola. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Coca-Cola. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

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