NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It seemed like things were all set up for a big rally to close out the year. Everyone was going to play nice and float enough bucks to stabilize Europe. Judging by the surge in stocks since Oct. 4, it was a done deal. Only the annoying details remained. The U.S. economic data wasn't really getting better but at least it wasn't getting worse. And earnings, glorious earnings, were ready to roll in with 10%-plus year-over-year growth and give the major U.S. equity indices a nice push across 2011's finishing line. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed Friday in positive territory, the VIX was tamed back below 30, and it looked like full steam ahead. Then Germany came along on Monday and essentially said "not so fast" and the uncertainty came rushing back in. A 2% decline later and the pressure on earnings has been revved up a bit as Wall Street still has to keep one eye on the headlines from across the pond. Tuesday brings a impressive parade of brand name reports, including four Dow components. The morning round of results features Bank of America ( BAC), Coca-Cola ( KO), EMC Corp. ( EMC), Goldman Sachs ( GS), Harley-Davidson ( HD), Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ), Omnicom Group ( OMC), State Street ( STT), and UnitedHealth Group ( UNH). After the close, the market gets numbers from Apple ( AAPL), Cree ( CREE), Intel ( INTC), Intuitive Surgical ( ISRG), Juniper Networks ( JNPR), and Yahoo! ( YHOO). Since Apple and Bank of America are getting plenty of virtual ink elsewhere, we'll give a quick rundown on Coca-Cola. Wall Street is expecting Coke to report earnings of $1.02 a share for its fiscal third-quarter ended in September on revenue of $12.01 billion. Year-to-date, the stock has gained 2.5%, and the soda giant has been right around the consensus in the past three quarters, beating by a penny twice and missing by a penny once. Gabelli & Co. issued a bullish research note on the stock on Oct. 10 after the company's investor day but took down its full-year earnings estimate by a nickel to $3.80 a share because of currency fluctuations. The firm said it was still recommending purchase of Coke shares, which it rates at buy, in part because of the company's outlook for North America. "KO expects the largest North America market (~20 billion cases and $150 billion in 2010 non-alcoholic beverages retail sales) to deliver volume growth 'slightly ahead' of population growth, or around 0.5% to 1.5% per annum through 2020," Gabelli said. "KO expects to grow faster than the market and deliver positive price/mix."
The firm also sees an advantage for Coke among younger consumers in America. "The U.S. is expected to have the third-largest teen population by 2020 (after India and China), and KO believes it has the right brands (Coke, Coke Zero) and social media strategy (17.3 million my coke rewards members, and 34 million plus Facebook fans) to recruit younger users and retain them as customers for life," Gabelli said. Wall Street is extremely bullish on Coke ahead of the report with 14 of the 17 analysts covering the shares at strong buy (6) or buy (8), and the median 12-month price target sitting at $75, implying potential upside of 12% from Monday's close at $67. As for the rest of the earnings reports, it's hard to get excited about the banks, given how Citigroup ( C) and Wells Fargo ( WFC) were greeted with yawns, although the rhetoric from BofA's Brian Moynihan and Goldman's Lloyd Blankfein could be interesting with the Volcker rule open for criticism. That leaves Apple, a juggernaut if there ever was one. The bulls are still firmly in control ahead of the report, despite a single downgrade on Monday. There is, however, some reason for at least a sliver of trepidation simply because the stock is riding so high, hitting a new all-time peak of $426.70 during Monday's session. The after-hours decline in IBM's stock, which has outperformed the broad market to a comparable level as Apple so far in 2011, illustrates the risk of being priced for perfection in this market. If the company does its usual act -- solid beat, pedestrian guidance -- profit-taking could kick in and take a bite out of the stock, especially if Tim Cook underwhelms on the conference call. The other scheduled news for Tuesday is the producer price index for September at 8:30 a.m. ET, Redbook chain store sales for the week ended Oct. 15 at 9 a.m. ET, the National Association of Home Builders' confidence survey for October at 10 a.m. ET, and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaking in Boston at around 1 p.m. ET. -- Written by Michael Baron in New York. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Michael Baron. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org