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Short-term market movements always seem to derive from daily news events, and there's never a shortage of potential reasons for a move in either direction. Today, some are pointing to poor April sales figures from major retail companies, while others highlight profit declines at General Motors as evidence that the European sovereign debt crisis will have lasting effects not only on the Continent but throughout the global economy. Meanwhile, investors are anxiously awaiting tomorrow's employment report for signs of broader macroeconomic strength. Amid those tidal forces, the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI ) dropped 32 points to 13,236 just before 10:45 a.m. EDT.
Among Dow stocks, Disney (NYSE: DIS ) was up about 0.7% after rival DreamWorks Animation announced earnings after the bell yesterday. Although DreamWorks had modest boosts in revenue and net income, its shares tumbled today after an initial rise in after-hours trading last night. With DreamWorks' Madagascar 3 going up against Disney's Brave, you can expect the stocks to fight against each other throughout the summer months.
Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO ) was up 0.2% in early trade. An article in the New York Post highlighted the tension between the success of energy drinks and their brand images, which it argues is hampering potential buyouts from soda companies. Given the hullaballoo over later-denied rumors that Coke would buy Monster Beverage (Nasdaq: MNST ) , many investors seem to expect buyout activity throughout the sector to increase.
Finally, 3M (NYSE: MMM ) was down fractionally. The company's 3M Unitek division announced a "lite" version of its Incognito Hidden Braces system. With fewer wires and a focus on the most visible teeth, the treatment appeals to those seeking less extensive and less painful orthodontic work. The news highlights the fact that 3M is a true conglomerate, with innovative solutions that go well beyond Post-it Notes.
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