After five straight days of declines for the S&P 500, something's got to give. Yet even with some analysts pointing to the potential for further Chinese stimulus measures and a big drop in weekly claims for unemployment, stocks didn't exactly soar. A lot rests on what will happen with Europe as Spain starts moving forward with specific budget proposals and a potential request for aid. That's a big part of why the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI ) are largely playing a waiting game, rising just 17 points by 10:45 a.m. EDT.
Among Dow stocks, Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG ) fell 0.3% after a Wall Street Journal article detailed the difficulties CEO Robert McDonald has faced from activist investor Bill Ackman and others. With some big mistakes in product launches and pricing, along with falling profits, P&G seems to be losing the confidence of many investors, who are growing impatient with the company's efforts to turn things around.
Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO ) rose more than half a percent on no apparent news. The company's rival, PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP ) , came out with a new cola offering in Australia using stevia, a natural low-calorie sweetener. Australia appears to be the test market for the beverage, but it's not the first attempt Pepsi has made to woo customers away from Diet Coke, which surpassed Pepsi to become the second-most popular soft drink in the U.S.
Finally, Boeing (NYSE: BA ) fell more than half a percent as the European Union gave specific sanction requests to the World Trade Organization. The EU wants $12 billion in trade sanctions to make up for alleged U.S. government subsidies to Boeing. Boeing rival Airbus argues that the launch of the 787 Dreamliner wouldn't have been possible without subsidies and noted the fact that the sanction would be the largest in WTO history.
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