Tallahassee Journal

Stocks up on Coke’s beat, Greece speculation

Stocks up on Coke’s beat, Greece speculation

Stocks are higher Tuesday as Wall Street reacts to an earnings beat by Coca-Cola and rumors that the chill in negotiations between Greece and its European creditors has thawed. As of 1:40 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones industrial average is up 0.5%, the S&P 500 is 0.7% higher and the Nasdaq composite is in a 0.9% climb. Good economic news also rolled in during the session. The number of available jobs posted by U.S. employers rose in December to the highest level in 14 years, a sign recent strong job gains will likely continue.AP FINANCIAL MARKETS WALL STREET F USA NY

The Labor Department says job openings rose 3.7% to a seasonally adjusted 5 million. The Dow, after a 700-point rally in the first four days of last week, finished lower Monday for the second straight session. Dow component Coke is giving the blue-chip index a nice boost. KO is up 2.5% after the soft drink giant beat earnings estimates.

Wall Street, of course, has become jittery amid fears that talks between Greece’s new leaders and its creditors would falter, a development that would cause fresh turbulence for global markets as it could end in a Greek default or its exit from the Eurozone. However, there are now rumors — cited for instance by Alex Eppstein with Schaeffer’s Investment Research, in a morning note to investors — that debt-strapped Greece could get an extension of six months.

In a research note before the market open on Wall Street, Bespoke told its clients: “Per chatter this morning, the Greeks will be given an extension of about six months, along with lower austerity requirements and a more tenable austerity package.” Still, the Greek debt talks remain fluid ahead of a key meeting of European finance ministers, according to Bespoke Investment Group.

Major European benchmarks ended mixed. The DAX of Germany and the CAC 40 of France climbed 0.9% and 1%, respectively. Britain’s FTSE lost 0.1%. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index dropped 0.3% to close at 17,652.68. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was basically flat and the Shanghai Composite rose 1.5%.