Stock Markets Claw Back Half of Yesterday's Losses

Yesterday's market panic subsided today as earnings from a few big name companies brought buyers back to Wall Street. Goldman Sachs and Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO  ) beat earnings estimates, and that helped push the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) up 0.88% higher and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) up 1.17% near the end of trading. Today's gains have recovered about half of what was lost on the market yesterday.

Coca-Cola has led the Dow today, gaining 5.7% in late trading. The company said revenue declined 0.9% in the first quarter to $11.04 billion after being negatively affected by foreign exchange rates. Still, the revenue number topped estimates, and when adjusted earnings per share of $0.46 beat by a penny, investors dove back into the stock. Coca-Cola is also restructuring its distribution network, selling distribution rights back to smaller bottlers, which should improve margins. This is no longer a big-time growth stock, but investors love the steady results and are willing to pay a premium for them.

Coca-Cola's wide moat has helped provide its shareholders with superior gains in the past, but the company faces some new threats to its continued market dominance. The Motley Fool recently compiled a premium research report containing everything you need to know about Coca-Cola. If you own or are considering buying shares in the company, you'll want to click here now and get started!

Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) is up 2.6% after its subsidiary ESPN postponed a news conference with the Southeastern Conference. The event was forestalled by the tragic events in Boston yesterday, and investors are speculating that the network will form an SEC network to cover the best college football conference in America. Other conferences, like the Big Ten, as well as various sports teams have decided to branch out with their own television networks, but no one has the backing of ESPN and Disney. For now, we can only wait until later this week to hear what ESPN and the SEC have in the works.

Only a few of the 30 Dow components are in the red today, including telecommunications giant Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) , which is down a modest 0.5%. The speculation today is that SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son will up his offer for Verizon Wireless rival Sprint, countering yesterday's offer by DISH Network. The SoftBank deal would likely result in a better competitor against Verizon Wireless, because it would have a larger balance sheet to build a competing cellular network. A combined Sprint and DISH Network would have a very leveraged balance sheet and a hard time spending the billions needed to catch up with Verizon Wireless and AT&T in mobile.


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