The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) is shaking off news of poor manufacturing activity, announced this morning by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. As of 12:50 p.m. EDT the index is at 13,423, up 94.6 points, or 0.71%. Investors are pushing the Dow higher after retail sales posted a modest 1.1% gain.
But even though the Dow is up, a few stocks are still trading lower on more company-specific news. Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO ) , AT&T (NYSE: T ) , and Verizon (NYSE: VZ ) are three companies that received bad news this morning.
So why are they down?
The world's largest soft-drink company had its shares downgraded this morning by analysts at CLSA. Coca-Cola's share price target was also reduced from $42.50 a share to $40. The downgrade came as a result of slower expected growth due to near-term headwinds in major markets and the lack of any foreseeable short-term catalyst. Shares of Coke are down 0.17% on the news.
Telecommunications giants AT&T and Verizon are also trading lower again today, since the Softbank acquisition of Sprint (NYSE: S ) has been finalized. The third-largest cellular-service provider in the U.S. may now be able to break the stranglehold the top two companies currently have on the market. Loaded with debt, Sprint has been unable to make any big moves, but with the backing of Softbank, the company should see its balance sheet revitalized. AT&T is down 0.91%, while Verizon is just below breakeven.
If CLSA’s analyst is correct, and Coke experiences a few months of slow growth, the next few quarters may seem like decades for investors. Most investors feel that when their stock is not appreciating, it's losing value. Due to inflation, this is true to an extent. But what shareholders of Coca-Cola need to remember when a slowdown arrives is that the company is still paying a healthy 2.7% dividend. In addition to the dividend, Coke has what one analyst calls the "X factor." Find out what Coke's X factor is, and learn about two other dividend-paying Dow components with their own X factors, by clicking here.