The Coca-Cola Company (KO) Is Today’s Dow (.DJI) Winner

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is rebounding after yesterday’s big drop. As of 1:15 p.m. EDT the Dow is up 142 points, or 0.97%, to 14,741. The S&P 500 is up 1.24% to 1,572.

There were four U.S. economic releases today.

Report Period Result Previous
Consumer price index March (0.2%) 0.7%
Core CPI March 0.1% 0.2%
Housing starts March 1.04 million 968,000
Building permits March 902,000 939,000
Industrial production March 0.4% 1.1%

Source: MarketWatch U.S. Economic Calendar.

The two to focus on are the housing numbers. February’s rate of housing starts was revised upward from 917,000 to 968,000. In March, housing starts rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.04 million — the highest level since late 2008.

Coca-Cola Earnings Report

Growth in housing starts for both February and March is good news for the ongoing recovery of the housing market, which has been strengthening over the past year. There are worrying signs ahead, however: Building permits dropped in March from 939,000 to 902,000. Building permits are a leading indicator of future housing starts. While permits were down 4% month over month, they are still up 17% from March 2012.

US Housing Starts Chart

US Housing Starts data by YCharts.

Coke stock leads the Dow
Today’s Dow leader is The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO), up 5.6% to $42.35 after it reported first-quarter earnings. The company earned $0.39 per share, or $0.46 when you exclude one-time items. That’s better than the year-ago quarter’s $0.45 and better than analyst expectations of $0.45. Revenue was $11.04 billion, down 1% from the year ago but better than analyst expectations of $11.02 billion. Worldwide, the company saw 4% growth in volume, with 3% growth in the U.S. and 5% growth abroad.

In the U.S., The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) announced that it will sell some of its internal bottling operations to its five U.S. independent bottlers: Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated (NASDAQ:COKE), Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, Swire Coca-Cola USA, Coca-Cola Bottling Company High Country and Corinth Coca-Cola Bottling Works. No details were released, but the company did say it expects to close the deals in 2014.

Long-term The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) shareholders should be concerned by the rising tide against soda in the U.S. However, The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO)’s diversification into global markets and other beverages like juice and tea both cap this risk over the long run.

The article Coke Stock Is Today’s Dow Winner originally appeared on

Dan Dzombak has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Coca-Cola.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.