The big question this earnings season is whether or not revenues will shine. Most companies have run out of easy cost cutting steps to help improve EPS, so the focus has turned to revenue and sales growth. More importantly, if companies show confidence in future sales cycles, that optimism will likely flow into the equity markets.
Average analyst expectations are for a 2.8% increase in year over year Q4 earnings growth. This is a pretty modest number, but...
Ahead of the Bell: Dow futures are trading up 23 points and S&P futures are trading up 2 points after aluminum producer Alcoa kicked off the 4th quarter earnings season by beating analyst forecasts, although they cautioned the budget talks in Washington could hinder the positive outlook for global demand in 2013. Year end results are expected to be better than the 3rd quarter, particularly since many companies lowered guidance for the final quarter of 2012. The latest trade data from China showed demand is still strong, as the world's second largest economy leads the recovery in Asia.
On the economic calendar today, there are no reports due. The dollar is up against the euro and British pound and down against the Japanese yen. Gold is trading at $1,662. Crude oil is currently trading at $92 a barrel.
Chairman of the Hulp voor Hulpverleners (Assistance for Emergency workers) Foundation, Rick Franx, sounds the gong and asks attention for the violence and aggression against emergency workers.
Up to 75% of the emergency workers (police, fire brigade, ambulance, hospital and public transport personnel) have to deal with verbal abuse and receive threats while working. Hulp voor Hulpverleners develops various activities for social backing, support and professional care for emergency workers.
Stuart Frankel & Co., Inc. is ringing The Closing Bell on Tuesday, January 8th in celebration of their 40th Anniversary of Membership on the New York Stock Exchange.
In addition to celebrating 40 years and being a constant presence on the NYSE trading floor, Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc. will host a charity day on Monday, January 7th to raise money for the Newtown Park Gift Fund to help build a playground for the Connecticut town's children and for the American Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy Relief.
In honor of this special occasion, Founder and Chairman Stuart Frankel will ring The Closing Bell joined by his two sons and Senior Members of the firm.
Stocks spent the trading day in negative territory as investors trimmed positions ahead of earnings season. After the market closed, Alcoa kicked off earnings season by meeting expectations and raising its outlook for aluminum demand. Fourth quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies are expected to rise 3.3% compared to the fourth quarter of 2011 according to S&P Capital IQ. The Dow closed down 55.44 to 13,328.85.
Consumer credit in the U.S. increased to $16 billion which was more than estimated, in November. Borrowing for student loans and automobiles led the increase. Economists were looking for a $12.8 billion November rise and in October, $14.1 billion was borrowed.
The National Association of Independent Business' small-business optimism index rebounded slightly to 88.0 in December.
Eurozone unemployment reached an all-time high of 11.8% in November. Youth unemployment rose to a record...