Today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) moved 1.5% on a higher growth projection from the International Monetary Fund, a strong bond sale by Spain, and some positive earnings news. In fact, not one Dow component fell today. Here's a look at some of the biggest winners during the trading session.
The movie maker
Unlike its John Carter movie, Disney (NYSE: DIS ) put forth a spectacular day, climbing 2.45%, higher than all of its Dow peers. Helping Disney through its box-office failure is a diverse product line. As fellow Fool Eric Volkman describes, "out of its five divisions, no single one is responsible for more than 50% of revenue." Eric also notes that its musical version of The Lion King recently became the top-grossing show of all-time on Broadway.
The snack maker
Standard & Poor's analysts gave Kraft's (NYSE: KFT ) stock a "buy" rating, and shares jumped 2.39% following the news. The analyst "expects a valuation boost," according to the Associated Press, because of its coming split into a North American grocery division and a global snack-foods division named Mondelez. Currently, Kraft is the second largest food company in the world, and it wants to separate out the high-growth international potential from its mature North American business. It plans to report first-quarter earnings on May 3.
The soda maker
Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO ) released its first-quarter results and beat analysts' expectations on both earnings and revenue, posting $0.89 in earnings per share and $11.14 billion in revenue, which sent shares 2.08% higher. Total global volume increased 5%, pushed by an amazing volume growth of 20% in India and 9% in China. As Fool James Early noted, with its increased volume and increased prices, Coke proved that it can pass on higher commodity prices.
Prepare for earnings season
Stocks can jump like the ones discussed here or fall on any tidbit of news, but over the long term it's the underlying business in which you invest and that drives solid long-term returns. Earnings reports are a great peek into how a business is performing, as well as how it might do over several years. Make sure to check out our free report, "5 Stocks Investors Need to Watch This Earnings Season."