US And Canada Report

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%.