5 Things to Know Ahead of the Opening Bell

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

According to stock index futures as of 8 a.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) will begin the day flat, gaining just 12 points at the start of trading. Political leaders in the Senate look set to reach a deal today to fund the government and extend the debt ceiling ahead of Thursday's deadline. However, any Senate agreement will still require approval from the House of Representatives, which is far from a sure thing.

With that bigger picture in mind, here are a few individual stock stories to watch for in today's market.

Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO  ) announced quarterly earnings of $0.53 a share this morning, about even with expectations. However, the beverage giant did manage to improve on last quarter's results, as volume growth came in at 2%, better than the 1% it logged over the spring months. Still, beverages like teas and waters continued to outperform sodas, jumping by 3%, versus a 1% uptick in Coke's sparkling beverage business. Shares are up 2% in premarket trading.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ  ) booked adjusted profit of $1.36 per share today, which was an 8.8% improvement over last year's haul. The company saw solid demand across its drug portfolio, as quarterly sales rose by 3.1%. Johnson & Johnson also boosted its full-year earnings guidance slightly, to about $5.47 a share. The stock is up 1.6% in premarket trading.

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) is getting even more fashionable. The tech giant announced last night that it nabbed Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts, who will join Tim Cook's inner circle at Cupertino. Ahrendts will be in charge of Apple's retail and online stores, overseeing their "strategic direction, expansion and operation," according to an Apple release. Apple's retail sales alone were $4.7 billion last year, up 33% from the prior year. The stock is higher by 0.5% in premarket trading.

Finally, Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN  ) has its eyes on a new $10 billion market. The online retailer has set up shop inside the warehouses of major suppliers, including Procter & Gamble, in a bid to boost sales of household staples like paper towels and shampoo, according to The Wall Street Journal. Consumers don't typically buy such products online, but if Amazon can make the economics work it might add as much as $10 billion to its top line. Shares are up 0.8% in premarket trading.

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