Bob Pisani is off; this post was written by CNBC reporter Brian A. Shactman.
Futures extended their losses by about 4 points after weekly jobless claims unexpectedly rose in the past week (up 22,000 vs. expected decline of 13,000), extending concerns on the February jobs picture.
Durable goods, however, saw a greater-than-expected rise (up 3.0 percent vs. up 1.5 percent consensus), its largest gain since July.
Even though investors get another dose of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke in Washington, D.C., the problems in Greece have crept back to the forefront of investor concerns.
The issue today is whether the country can cut the budget enough to help the situation.
Ratings agencies expressed their concerns — and are reportedly considering downgrades. On top of that, it appears Greece's bond issuance will be pushed back to next week.
Markets in Europe sold off on the news, despite some decent earnings overseas.
The big deal on Wall Street involves Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Enterprises.
This comes following Pepsi’s acquisition of its bottlers Pepsi Americas and Pepsi Bottling Group, deals which should close at the end of the week.
Coke will assume control of CCE's North American operations in an essentially “cashless transaction.” Coke will give up its stake in the bottler and will assume about $8 billion of debt, while CCE shareholders will receive a special dividend of $10 per share.
UBS came out and said the Coke deal could be a net positive for Dr. Pepper Snapple, mainly because of potential bargaining power with distributors.
Separately, Dr. Pepper Snapple reported better-than-expected earnings today, despite revenue being a little light. Guidance was well above consensus.
a) Heinz topped estimates ($0.82 vs. $0.76 consensus), boosted by strong sales (up 13 percent) and improving margins. Higher prices and greater volumes also helped.
As with other multinational firms, sales in the U.S. lagged growth overseas (U.S. up 7 percent, but Asia soars 41 percent, Europe jumps 12 percent).
b) Newmont Mining took advantage of higher gold prices and soared past Wall Street's expectations. It made $588 million, or $1.13 a share. Compare that to last year when it reported just $4 million and a penny a share.
c) Limited Brands up 3 percent after beating estimates ($1.01 vs. $0.98 consensus) as same-store sales rose 1 percent.
More impressive, it sees February comps rising high single digits to low double digits despite the snowy weather that has hit most of the country.
d) GameStop falls 6 percent after announcing its CFO is departing the company to take a position at Wal-Mart .
e) Nike rises 2 percent after being added to the Conviction Buy List at Goldman Sachs.
f) Oil services firm Transocean received a favorable note at Citi. The latter says the recent sell-off is overdone, and it is keeping a $100 price target.
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