Investors Shake off Greek Deal and Jobless Claims Numbers

Stocks are trading flat heading into midday trading as investors shrug off reports of a Greek deal and a drop in jobless claims. Reports came in this morning of a possible deal out of Greece. The deal would allow the financially struggling nation to receive a second bailout package.

Closer to home, jobless claims fell 15,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 358,000 according to the Labor Department. This is the second lowest level in almost four years. Many economists had expected claims to go up 3,000. While jobless claims fell, wholesale inventories rose 1% in December. This was higher than the 0.4% gain analysts were expecting.

Earnings season continues to be busy with companies releasing earnings earlier today and a few slated for after the market close.

Pepsico, Inc. (NYSE:PEP) shares took a hit this morning after the company reported better than expected profits, but guidance saw a 5% decline in 2012 earnings. This decline comes as Pepsico increases advertising and manufacturing costs. The company also announced it will be cutting nearly 9,000 jobs in restructuring. PEP is down 3.84% right now at $64.18.

Credit Suisse Group (NYSE:CS) is seeing a sell off today after the bank posted a quarterly loss. The company reported a net loss of $698 million, analysts were expecting a profit of $471 million. This loss comes as the company took $1.07 billion of charges to speed up cost cutting and dumping of risky assets. CS is down 3.33% at $26.72.

Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) is rallying today after announcing better than expected earnings late yesterday. The company also announced a share repurchase program worth $500 million. Also, many different brokerages increased their target prices for Visa. V is up 4.28% at $112.99.

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) is down slightly in midday trading despite posting better than expected results and raising their dividend. CSCO is down 0.08% at $20.4141.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) share are up today as Canaccord Genuity raised their price target from $650 to $665. Apple shares are up nearly $40 a share in the past week.

Investors will be eying Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) and LinkedIn Corporation (NASDAQ:LNKD) as well as other companies after the market close when they report earnings.

Coca-Cola Earnings Beat Estimates, Shares Higher

Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) reported fourth quarter earnings earlier today and beat Wall Street estimates. The company also announced a new cost-savings program that it will implement to boost its brands and mitigate higher commodity costs. This program will save the company $550 to $650 million annually by 2015. One analyst with Consumer Edge Research called their earnings “solid” given the current state of the global economy.

Coca-Cola earned $1.65 billion or $0.72 per share in the fourth quarter. This is down from a year ago when the company earned $5.77 billion, or $2.46 per share. These numbers are skewed because a year ago, Coca-Cola saw a one time net gain of $1.74 per share due to them buying a bottler’s North America operations. If you discount restructuring charges and other items, the company earned $0.79 per share. Analysts were expecting $0.77 per share.

For the full year, net income fell 27% to $8.57 billion. The company’s net income was $11.81 billion the year before. Coca-Cola has weathered the global economic downturn by introducing new products and raising prices and offering smaller package sizes.

Coca-Cola’s main rival, PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE:PEP) is expected to release their results on Thursday. Analysts are expecting Pepsi to announce cost cutting and investment in its brands in order to keep up with their main competitor.

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