Chalk one up for the bears…

Stocks notched their worst performing week since the beginning of the summer. For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) closed down 2.07%, the Nasdaq (chart) -2.94%, the S&P 500 (chart) -2.21% and the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) closed out the week down 2.35%.

This upcoming week promises to be a doozy with Q3 earnings reporting season kicking into high gear. The following is a list of some of the high profile companies that are scheduled to report; Citigroup (NYSE: C), Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) Coca-Cola ( NYSE: KO), International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM) , Intel (NasdaqGS: INTC), CSX Corp. (NYSE: CSX), Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), US Bancorp (NYSE: USB), American Express (NYSE: AXP) and tech titans Ebay (NasdaqGS: EBAY) and Google (NasdaqGS: GOOG).

With last week’s market performance and lack thereof, the question I am now pondering is whether or not this earnings reporting season will be the catalyst to take the markets down further? Even with last week’s 2% pullback, the bellwether indexes are still up double digits on the year. There indeed could still be more room to the downside, however, I would expect that key technical levels would support any meaningful pullback. Let’s take a look at the S&P 500 (chart). The first level of support appears to be in the 1400 zone and then the 1370 area which happens to be the 200-day moving day average for the S&P. By no means am I suggesting that these levels will be reached, all I am saying is if Q3 earnings reporting season comes in weaker than expected, we could see a continuation of last week’s pullback.

Good luck to all.

Have a great week 🙂

~George