Back Above 14,000 Goes the Dow


Well, the Dow Jones Industrial Average's stay below the 14,000 mark wasn't a long one. As of 2:25 p.m. EST, the index has gained 58 points, or 0.42%, to -- surprise -- set yet another 52-week high in this fast-paced start to 2013. Nearly every stock on the index is in the green ahead of tonight's State of the Union speech, which could certainly shake the markets up tomorrow depending on the direction the government takes, but two major laggards are holding back the Dow -- including one steady beverage-maker sinking after it reported earnings.

Earnings keep down the laggards
Shares of Coca-Cola haven't taken part in today's rally, falling 2.7% to bring up the rear on the Dow. The company reported earnings today, and while Coke's quarterly profit excluding one-time items narrowly beat analyst expectations, revenue of $11.46 billion came in short of the projected $11.53 billion. The company experienced sales declines in China and Europe and saw just 1% growth in total revenue in the United States -- ominous trends, considering the push against obesity in many economies. Coke expects things to improve in 2013, however.

Cisco is down 1.3% ahead of tomorrow's earnings release in typical pre-earnings jitters. The stock has been on a tear over the past three months, gaining more than 26% in that time. If the company can meet analyst projections of $12.1 billion in revenue and $0.48 in earnings per share, it could be set to rise higher. Cisco has ambitions to become the "#1 IT company," and while its sales still can't come close to those of competitor IBM, Cisco aims to achieve its goal by setting the pace of the industry.

Financials are spurring today's charge, however, making the Dow forget all about the aforementioned laggards above. Bank of America is leading the index with shares up 3.2%, while rival JPMorgan has posted gains of 1.2% so far. Financials got a boost today from Barclays after the bank, damaged by the LIBOR scandal, released a number of changes designed to change the company's direction. New CEO Antony Jenkins announced thousands of job cuts heavily centered on investment banking, attempting to pull back the risk-taking culture that had developed and reorient toward traditional, within-the-rules banking.

Barclays' move might not be glamorous, but it's a step in the right direction for the scandal-ridden company -- and the financial sector has responded well today.

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Fool contributor Dan Carroll has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Cisco Systems and Coca-Cola. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America, International Business Machines., and JPMorgan Chase & Co. 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 Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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