Market Minute: Ford Tops Latest Brand List; Goldman Profit Beats Forecasts


Big brand winners, and strong earnings from Goldman Sachs. Those and more are what's in business news Tuesday.

The Dow industrials (^DJI) rose 20 points Monday and the S&P 500 (^GPSC) added two points -- both edging further into record territory. The Nasdaq (^IXIC) gained 7.

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What companies are being talked about the most around the water cooler? YouGov's BrandIndex puts Ford (F) at No. 1, largely because of the automaker's Focus model. It was followed by (AMZN), sandwich-maker Subway, the History Channel and retailer Lowe's Cos. (LOW). And what about V8, the beverage that everyone belatedly remembers they could've had? It made No. 6 on the British market-research firm's list.

AT&T (T) is rolling out a plan today to keep existing customers happy. Instead of the typical two-year mobile phone contract, it will allow customers to upgrade after just one year to buy the newest gadgets on the market. There are no upgrade fees and no down payments, but you will have to pay the full cost of the phone.

Coca-Cola (KO) reports flat quarterly earnings, and when you're talking about Coke, flat is not so good. It said cool and wet spring weather in many areas hurt soft drink consumption.

But Goldman Sachs (GS) easily beat expectations on both the top and bottom line. The investment banker also sees improving economic conditions in the U.S.

After the closing bell we'll hear from Yahoo (YHOO), the first of the big tech companies to report. Later in the week: IBM (IBM), Intel (INTC), Google (GOOG) and Microsoft (MSFT).

More than 5 million people a day wear uniforms from Cintas (CTAS) -- including everyone working at McDonald's (MCD) restaurants. Because of that, some see it as economic bellwether. But the company's earnings still fell a bit short of expectations, and it issued a cautious outlook, citing the "uncertain" economy.

Investigators searching for the cause of the fire on a Boeing (BA) 787 Dreamliner last week in Great Britain are reportedly focused on the emergency location transmitter and its battery, made by Honeywell (HON).

And the executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles (HSII) is searching for a new boss -- after its chief executive resigned.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg