The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is back on a winning streak, marking its second day of gains with a 270 point move higher at 3:39 p.m. EDT on July 21. Today’s biggest gainer is oil and gas giant Chevron (NYSE:CVX), up 4% on a big surge in oil prices.
The biggest Dow news today is earnings from Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), and Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ), all of which reported their latest quarterly results before market open today. Let’s take a closer look at what happened today with these Dow Jones stocks.
Surging oil prices lift Chevron shares
Both Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose sharply today, up more than 4% and climbing back above the $70 per barrel mark. This came as oil markets further digested the implications of the recent OPEC+ oil production deal, which should help stabilize global supply for the rest of 2021. Investors also had more time to process the threat of the Delta variant of the coronavirus to the economic recovery; more economists are taking the position that even with COVID-19 cases climbing again, it’s more likely that economic growth will continue than we will return to the shutdowns that crashed the global economy a year ago.
And that’s great news for Chevron and the rest of the oil market. The Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEMKT:XLE), which tracks the energy sector stocks in the S&P 500 was up 3.8% today. Chevron is the only energy stock in the Dow Jones and the S&P 500
Coke, J&J, Verizon meet investor earnings expectations
Let’s start with Coke, which reported a stellar quarter just about across the board, as investors expected. Volumes of both cased and concentrate product increased by double digits, up 18% and 26%, respectively, helping to drive a modest increase in operating margin as its massive scale turned those incremental volumes into higher profits. Adjusted earnings per share increased more than 60%. Coke has largely “lapped” the worst of last year’s coronavirus weakness (though there’s still plenty of room to recover sales from closed eateries, bars, and entertainment venues) but still expects to grow adjusted earnings about 14% at the midpoint of guidance for the rest of the year.
Next up is Verizon. Its reported revenue was up 11% in the second quarter, juicing net income 23% higher, to $1.40 per share. Wireless business is good; the company said almost 20% of its cellphone customers are using 5G, meaning it is getting a return on the many billions of dollars it has invested to roll out 5G infrastructure. Moreover, it added 528,000 new non-prepaid wireless customers in the quarter — solid growth for one of the largest U.S. cellphone providers.
Pharma giant Johnson & Johnson also reported second-quarter results before market open, with revenue up 27% to $23.3 billion and earnings of $2.35 per share, up 73% from a tough second quarter last year. J&J’s medical device segment in particular bounced back, with revenue up 63% to just under $7 billion, largely driven by a recovery in medical procedures that were deferred during the pandemic in the first half of 2020. The company’s Consumer Health and Pharmaceutical segments also reported double-digit sales growth as well, up 13% and 17%, respectively. As a result of the momentum it saw in Q2, management increased full-year guidance modestly for sales and expectations for earnings per share on an adjusted basis.
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