Summary: Wall Street gave up gains but finished above the worst levels of the day after Ukraine said it destroyed Russian trucks that crossed into its territory. Monster hits lifetime high as Coke buys in. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Confusion at the Ukrainian-Russian border. A large caravan of Russian trucks seen here heading toward the border. Ukraine says it destroyed part of the convoy that crossed the borderline last night. Russia denies its trucks crossed the line, accusing Ukraine of trying to block what it calls humanitarian aid. Adding to confusion -NATO says there was a breech, but failed to call it an invasion. Investors fear the relative quiet of recent days has been shattered sending the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq into a mixed close. But blue chips and the Nasdaq managed to hold gains for their second week in a row. Yields on the 10-year note hitting fresh 14-month lows as investors look for a safe place to hide. While in Europe, a triple-digit loss for Germany and a mixed reaction from France and the U.K. On the corporate front, investors are guzzling Coca-Cola's decision to take a stake in Monster Beverage Corp. The world's largest soft drink maker is paying $2.15 billion for a 16.7 percent stake. Coke wants to offset sluggish U.S. demand for soda with exposure to the faster-growing market for energy drinks. What does Monster get? Access to Coke's vast global distribution network. Investors pushed shares of Coca-Cola higher, while Monster surged to a lifetime high. J.C. Penney should have been a winner one-day after doing what other retailers did not do. The department store chain boasted higher-than-expected quarterly same-store sales. Web sales surged nearly 17 percent. But investors still worried about the long road to recovery - erasing all gains seen at the opening. Staying at the mall, consumer sentiment fell to its lowest point of the year in early August. Shoppers on all income levels are pleased with their current situation, but more worried about the future for a fourth month in a row. Other economic data: producer prices tame in July as falling energy costs offset higher food prices. Meanwhile, industrial production up last month thanks to a pick-up in production related to the auto industry.