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.
Investors can expect a flat start to the stock market today, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) gained an insignificant six points in premarket trading. Global markets moved higher in overnight trading -- particularly the Nikkei index, which rallied by more than 3% after the Bank of Japan announced new incentives to spur bank lending. Next up on today's economic calendar is a fresh reading on the housing market that is expected to show that homebuilder confidence remained steady at 56. The National Association of Home Builders will release that report at 10 a.m. EST.
Coca-Cola today said that a tough global selling environment kept pressure on revenue in the fourth quarter. Sales fell by 4% as the beverage giant saw worldwide volume tick higher by just 1%. Quarterly profit came in at $0.46 a share, 2% higher than last year and roughly on par with what Wall Street expected. Despite the lukewarm sales results, Coke did manage to grow its market share, and management pointed to a number of initiatives aimed at recovering momentum this year, including more innovation and a big boost in marketing spending. The stock is down 1% in premarket trading.
Waste Management today posted a 2% gain in quarterly revenue, to $3.5 billion. Adjusted profit was $0.56 a share, or slightly below expectations. Still, the company's strong 60% growth in annual cash flow gave it confidence to boost its dividend and increase its share repurchase plans for the year. Waste Management's outlook for 2014 also calls for adjusted earnings to grow by a solid 9%, to roughly $2.35 a share. The stock is unchanged in premarket trading.
Finally, Duke Energy this morning posted fourth-quarter earnings results that met analysts' expectations. Adjusted profit clocked in at $0.97 a share, compared to $0.62 a year ago, thanks to cost cuts that aided the bottom line. Total revenue of $6.15 billion was held back by weaker results from Duke's Midwest gas generation fleet. The company provided an outlook for 2014 that called for earnings of $4.50 a share, or about 3% higher than last year's haul. Duke's stock is unchanged in premarket trading.