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Today, the markets decided to hone in on relatively minor news from overseas, trading lower after remarks from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, who shared his displeasure with the recent strength of the Euro. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) lost 42 points, or 0.3%, to close at 13,944, as 23 of its 30 components declined.
One of the few Dow stocks that didn't fall today was Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO ) , which added 1.6%. Wall Street is anticipating a positive earnings report when the iconic company reports this coming Tuesday, Feb. 12. Earnings are expected to rise 10% from a year ago; not bad for a blue chip company paying a 2.7% dividend that's been around since 1886.
Coke might consider itself lucky that an ad planned by burgeoning competitor SodaStream International (NASDAQ: SODA ) was banned by CBS for depicting Coke and Pepsi explicitly in a harsh light. SodaStream, which has earnings of its own to report just a few weeks after Coke's, inverted its competitor's gains today, losing 1.6%.
The stock may now be more firmly in the consciousness of the American public after Super Bowl Sunday, because the company still aired a provocative ad -- this one, replete with a scantily-clad woman fawning over a SodaStream device. Bottles of (generic-looking) soda in nondescript warehouses are then shown exploding en masse, as the narrator calmly declares: "With SodaStream, we could've saved 500 million bottles on gameday alone."
Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT ) was today's worst Dow performer, also losing 1.6%. The conglomerate often moves with the market, and rises and falls with macroeconomic tides, so today's decline in the wake of European worries isn't exactly shocking. Underwhelming stats from the Department of Labor showing a 2% drop in productivity in the fourth quarter also didn't prove helpful for the stock.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) shares, however, weren't content with just a 1.6% swing today. They rocketed 3% higher Thursday, with nearly all of the gains coming in the last half an hour of trading. The rapid rise came after the company directly addressed concerns (and a lawsuit) from Greenlight Capital's famed leader David Einhorn, in which the megainvestor pressures the company to issue preferred stock.
There's no doubt that Apple is at the center of technology's largest revolution ever, and that longtime shareholders have been handsomely rewarded with over 1,000% gains. However, there's a debate raging as to whether Apple remains a buy. The Motley Fool's senior technology analyst and managing bureau chief, Eric Bleeker, is prepared to fill you in on both reasons to buy and reasons to sell Apple, and what opportunities are left for the company (and more importantly, your portfolio) going forward. To get instant access to his latest thinking on Apple, simply click here now.