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 (NYSE: 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 (NYSE: 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 (NYSE: 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.
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