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Stocks Choppy as Greece Remains in Focus

Jeremy Glaser

U.S. Market
Stocks were choppy this morning as Greek worries continued to be in focus.

Eurozone finance ministers are meeting today to discuss the Greece bailout which is due to expire at the end of the month. The new Greek government is looking to renegotiate austerity measures and other conditions of the bailout, while many other stakeholders are looking to largely extend the current terms.

At midday the Dow was off 0.2%, the S&P 500 was flat while the Nasdaq was up 0.4%.

Stocks on the Move
PepsiCo (PEP) enjoyed decent year-over-year volume gains in the fourth quarter, with snacks posting a 2% improvement and beverages up 1%. We're particularly encouraged by share gains in Frito-Lay North America, the largest portion of the snack division, although solid gains in AMEA (up 8%) and Europe (up 3%) also contributed. In beverages, the company saw carbonated drink volume decline in the United States but enjoyed domestic noncarbonated performance slightly ahead of Coca-Cola KO and drove Latin American organic beverage growth of 3%. Core operating margin improved 32 basis points in 2014. Shares were up 2% at midday.

Time Warner (TWX) said its revenue fell 1% to $7.53 billion in the fourth-quarter from the year-ago period. The drop was driven by declines at the Warner Brothers movie studio offset partially by rises at HBO and Turner cable networks. Shares were up less than 1% at midday as management boosted its dividend and provided inline earnings guidance for 2015.

Foreign Markets
European markets moved lower today. In late trading, the DAX was flat, the FTSE 100 was off 0.2% while the Paris CAC was down 0.4%.

Asian shares were mixed. The Shanghai Composite was up 0.5%, the Hang Seng was down 0.9% while the Nikkei 225 lost 0.3%.