Just two weeks into the first-quarter earnings season, a greater-than-usual number of companies have reported disappointing revenue results and tepid guidance, leading strategists to expect a more volatile time for stocks.
"That is for sure not a formula for success against a weak economic backdrop over the last two weeks," said Art Hogan, managing director at Lazard Capital Markets, of the latest trend in corporate results. "We'll find out more in the next two weeks when more heavyweights report, but it looks like we've set the table for a pullback. Stocks are already looking at the most negative week for the year."
To date, just over one-fifth of S&P 500 companies have posted quarterly results, with 67 percent topping earnings expectations. Meanwhile, only 43 percent have beaten their revenue estimates, which is significantly lower than the average 62-percent rate, according to the latest data from Thomson Reuters.
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