Why the Dow's on an Earnings High This Morning

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When earnings season comes, the results that big companies announce can pull the entire stock market up or down with them. Today, that news has largely been positive, and that's a big part of why stocks are moving strongly higher. At around 10:45 a.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI) were up 142 points to 13,064, while the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) kept pace with a 15-point gain to 1,384.

Coca-Cola (NYS: KO) was the best performer in the Dow in early trading, rising about 2.5% after releasing strong quarterly results this morning. Volume growth of 5% worldwide was solid, with even the slower-growing regions of North America and Europe posting gains. Even more promising was the fact that price increases in North America apparently didn't hurt volumes, leading to a 5% jump in revenue in the region.

Earnings at Johnson & Johnson (NYS: JNJ) , however, caused its stock to drop slightly. Although earnings per share came in ahead of forecasts, revenue fell short of what analysts had expected. Repeated recalls of consumer over-the-counter medicine in recent years seem to be taking their toll on J&J, and the company also cited foreign-currency weakness as a contributing factor.


Among other stocks, Chevron (NYS: CVX) rose almost 2% after announcing a deal to provide liquefied natural gas to Japan's third largest utility from its Wheatstone LNG plant in Australia, which is still under construction. The low price of natural gas in the U.S. has prompted a number of LNG-related projects, as price discrepancies around the world make transporting LNG more profitable.

Stay on top of it
As more companies announce earnings, you can expect big moves in either direction. Being prepared is the most important thing you can do right now. In its brand-new special report, The Motley Fool has identified five stocks that investors simply have to watch this earnings season. The report is free, so let me invite you to click here and get the scoopbefore these companies report.

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 Johnson & Johnson and Coca-Cola. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Chevron, Johnson & Johnson, and Coca-Cola, as well as creating a diagonal call position in Johnson & Johnson. 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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