Stocks open flat after holiday weekend; Coke falls

KEN SWEET AP Markets Writer Published:

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks were mixed in early Tuesday trading as investors return from a long holiday weekend. Coca-Cola slumped after turning in disappointing quarterly results and health care stocks rose following news a big merger in the pharmaceutical sector.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average lost 11 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,142 as of 10 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost less than a point to 1,839 and the Nasdaq composite was up seven points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,251.

PHARMA DEAL: Forest Laboratories jumped $21.28, or 30 percent, to $92.70 after another drugmaker, Actavis, agreed to buy the company for $25 billion. Actavis makes the generic versions of hyperactivity disorder medication Concerta and the cholesterol drug Lipitor, while Forest makes the Alzheimer's treatment Namenda. Actavis rose $15.06, or 8 percent, to $206.10.

Other health-care stocks also rose. Gilead Sciences rose 2 percent and UnitedHealth Care and Amgen increased 1 percent in early trading.

LOSING ITS FIZZ: Coca-Cola dropped $1.50, or 4 percent, to $37.43 after reporting a decline in fourth-quarter profit and sales from a year ago. The company, which also makes Sprite, Dasani and Vitaminwater, says sales volume declined 1 percent in North America.

BACK FROM HOLIDAY WEEKEND: U.S. financial markets were closed Monday in observance of President's Day.