DJIA: Gingrich Surges in National Polls, Starbucks Announces Evening Menu, McDonald's Q4 Earnings Up 11%

Category: Global Markets / Jan 23, 2012 4:43PM EDT

Stocks fell on Monday, taking a pause from a recent rally, as developments in the euro zone including the terms of a likely Greek default remained a concern.

The S&P 500 is up nearly 5 percent for the year as an improving U.S. economy and earnings that have largely met expectations have boosted investor optimism.

On the U.S. front... A new poll shows a huge upswing for Newt Gingrich in polls of Florida voters, underscoring the widespread discontent with Mitt Romney and the powerful momentum generated by Gingrich's upset in the South Carolina primary on Saturday.

Gingrich trailed Romney in South Carolina by 10 points on Tuesday, but his strong debate performances on Monday and Thursday catapulted him into the lead at the last minute.

In company news... Starbucks has a new business model. The company announced in early December that it would be introducing an evening-menu concept, along with beer and wine, to select locations in Seattle and Portland.

Starbucks will be extending its beer and wine offerings to even more markets, launching stores in Atlanta, Southern California and Chicago by the end of 2012.

And, rising sales of Smoothies and premium coffees likely helped boost the fourth-quarter 2011 earnings of McDonald's, the world's biggest fast-food chain, by 11 percent.