PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP)

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Stock Market Today: How Will Gold Follow Its Biggest Gain in a Year?

The stock market today is flat in morning trading with investors focused on earnings and gold this week.

Today's stock market follows a mild day Monday as investors awaited earnings from Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) after the close, and a flood of earnings later in the week. But the S&P 500 Index still managed to eke out another record close

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PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP) Bets on New Management To Revive Flat Stock

PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP) announced today (Monday) it's aligning a new management structure to solidify a growth plan for its stock and future earnings.

The company named John Compton, current CEO of the company's American Foods division, as president of PepsiCo. The position was newly created to prep someone to eventually take over for current chief executive Indra Nooyi.

The new management shake-up also named Brian Cornell, who recently ran the Sam's Club unit of Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT), as Compton's American Foods replacement.

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PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP) Is the Perfect Buy-and-Hold Investment

If they aren't already, long-term investors should be digging up some solid defensive plays, like PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP).

Everyone is familiar with PepsiCo, one of the leading manufacturers and marketers of food and beverage products. And with a strong business model, steady bottom-line growth, and a healthy dividend, PepsiCo is one of those rare buy-and-hold investments.

Although its name is typically associated with soda, PepsiCo has developed a diversified product line that supports a steady revenue stream from more than just fizzy drinks. PepsiCo, through its Frito-Lay and Quaker Oats subsidiaries, is the name behind consumer-favorite brands like Doritos, Tropicana, Gatorade, SoBe Lifewater, Cracker Jack, Rice-A-Roni, and Grandma's Cookies.

Many investors already know that, though.

What you might not know is that PepsiCo's future earnings are based on much more than delicious snacks for U.S. consumers.

This global powerhouse is investing in two areas that will drive food company profits going forward: emerging markets growth and "good for you" products.

It has struck deals to develop both initiatives this year, and the efforts are paying off.

Increased emerging markets sales boosted PepsiCo's revenue from those countries 33% last quarter. Sales of healthy products are on pace this year to hit almost $15 billion, and the company hopes to double that by 2020.

When you combine its new business focuses with its existing profitable product lines, PepsiCo is strong enough to weather a global economic storm - exactly what our portfolios need to include right now.

So it's time to buy PepsiCo Inc. (**).

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