The Dow Quietly Gains Strength

The second trading session of the week featured another low-volatility day where markets headed up, mostly erasing yesterday's meager losses. Greece keeps sputtering toward a deal, and in the meantime, the market appears to be holding its breath.

But before we dive in to the day's big stories, let's see how exactly the three largest indices fared in today's session.


Gain / Loss

Gain / Loss %

Ending Value

Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI)




Nasdaq (INDEX: ^IXIC)








The morning started off in negative territory, but it rose after job-openings data pushed markets positive. The newest indicator that the U.S. recovery is gaining traction showed job openings posting their largest monthly gain in a year, and when isolating private-sector employment, it's the largest since mid-2008. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke reiterated that the job market, with its 8.3% unemployment, is far from healthy, but with all the good news coming out lately, it is starting to feel as if things are moving in the right direction.

The Dow ended up fairly positive, with two-thirds of its components recording gains. The second-largest gain of the group belonged to Disney (NYS: DIS) , whose fourth-quarter earnings were rewarded with a 1.3% share price. The entertainment icon missed on the top line, but it handily trumped analyst estimates where it counts, coming in at $0.80 a share, $0.09 better than expected. Disney has now topped expectations in 10 out of the past 12 quarters, so investors who drove shares higher yesterday looking for a beat got it.

Beverage maker Coca-Cola (NYS: KO) also turned in a fourth-quarter performance that beat the Street once adjustments were made. Shares finished slightly up for the day, gaining 0.8%. Coke's CEO noted that the U.S. was showing signs of life and that commodity costs should be roughly half of what the company dealt with in 2011. Combine that with a cost-cutting initiative, the growth seen in emerging markets, and a 2.3% dividend yield, and it becomes obvious that Coca-Cola has a lot going for it, and for investors.

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At the time thisarticle was published David Williamsonowns shares of Coca-Cola, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Check out hisholdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Coca-Cola.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Coca-Cola and Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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