Stock markets are moving higher today as global finance leaders debate fiscal policy at a G7 Summit. There was confusion today over whether there is support for Japan's currency-devaluing policies or not. The yen has been dropping like a rock versus other currencies, which some fear could lead to a currency war, although that doesn't appear to be to be the case yet. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) and S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC ) shook off currency talk to rise 0.38% and 0.17%, respectively, in late trading.
Leading the Dow's charge were banking stocks after a large rival announced major job cuts. British bank Barclays announced a 1 billion pound loss for 2012 and said it would cut 3,700 jobs over the next three years, mostly in investment banking. Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) and JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM ) responded by jumping 3.5% and 1%, respectively. A smaller Barclays means more opportunity for U.S. giants, particularly in the profitable investment-banking business.
On the downside, Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO ) has fallen 2.9% after fourth-quarter earnings fell short of expectations. The company reported revenue of $11.46 billion, up 5% on a comparable currency basis, and a 13% jump in net income to $1.87 billion, or $0.41 per share. The short-term problem is that both results fell short of expectations. Investors often put blinders on during earnings season and only look at expectations, missing the fact that revenue and earnings are growing for this dividend-paying giant. In the long term, the stock will bounce back from this blow today.
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