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By Jason Stipp | 02-26-2010 11:30 AM

Coke Bottles Up, Palm Lets Down, and Wal-Mart Gets Vudu

Morningstar markets editor Jeremy Glaser on Coke's bottler bid, Palm's hang-ups, Wal-Mart's digital direction, and more.

Jason Stipp: I'm Jason Stipp for Morningstar and welcome to the Friday Five. This is our look back at five notable headlines for investors. Joining me as always with the Friday five is Morningstar markets editor Jeremy Glaser. Jeremy, thanks for being here.

Jeremy Glaser: Glad to be here, Jason.

Stipp: So what do you have for the Five this week?

Glaser: Coke is following Pepsi's lead. The battle for General Growth Properties heats up. We'll have our footnote of the week. Is this the end of the road for Palm? And finally, we'll take a quick peek at Wal-Mart's latest acquisition.

Stipp: All right. Well, let's pop the top off a Coke and start there.

Glaser: Last year Pepsi made quite a splash by buying their North American bottling and distribution network. Coke followed suit this week by saying that they're going to buy Coca-Cola Enterprises, or at least their North American operations. They'll have control of the entire chain, from marketing to actually getting it to the convenience store.

They think that by doing this, they'll be able to get new products to market faster and can stop some of the contentious negotiations that they sometimes have between themselves and their bottlers.

Now this is a business they spun off years ago because they didn't want the dead weight of all these trucks and factories on their balance sheet. It's not clear if that dead weight is really going to help them now, but they seem to value this flexibility and are willing to pay for it. I think it will take some time to see if this works for both Pepsi and Coke, but they both are now on the same pathway.

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