US Earnings Will Dictate Pace of Economy in Next Two Weeks

A long hoped for improvement in the economy appears to be manifesting itself in second-quarter U.S. earnings, but the next two weeks could be the real test.

Companies such as General Electric and Intel have reported solid results. In addition, GE believes now is a ripe moment to spin off its private label credit card division in the hopes growing consumer demand will make it more attractive.

Intel declared that personal computer sales have stabilized, while it forecast third-quarter revenue above Wall Street’s expectations.

Profit growth for the second quarter is now estimated at 6.7 percent—excluding results from Citigroup, which was hit by a big adjustment from a mortgage settlement—better than where they stood at the end of June.

In addition, 68 percent of S&P 500 companies so far are beating analysts’ profit expectations, above the 63 percent long-term average, according to Thomson Reuters data. A similarly high percentage of companies are beating revenue forecasts.

“Analysts may be underestimating the level of prospective improvement in the second quarter,” wrote Carmine Grigoli, chief investment strategist at Mizuho Securities in New York.

The latest profit estimate is up from a July 1 forecast of 6.2 percent, while revenue growth, now 3.2 percent, is on track to be the highest since the third quarter.
Still, it’s easy to overestimate the excitement. Many of the early reporting is by financial companies, not always the best barometer of Main Street activity.

The next two weeks, however, will see 60 percent of the S&P 500 release their results. That is key for investors looking for confirmation the anticipated economic rebound from the first quarter is more than just weather related.

via CNBC

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza