Weak earnings spook stocks…

Although Halloween is not quite here yet, the markets got spooked on Friday with weaker than expected corporate profits being reported. High profile companies such International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM), Google (NasdaqGS: GOOG), Microsoft (NasdaqGS: MSFT) and McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) all disappointed investors, just to name a few.  On Friday the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) closed down 205.43 points, the Nasdaq (chart) -67.25, the S&P 500 (chart) -24.15 and the Russell 2000 (chart) lost 16.12 points.

The street should not be too surprised with the softer earnings numbers that are coming in, for most analysts have been lowering their estimates for some time now. This upcoming week over 700 companies will report their Q3 results with all eyes on Apple Computer (NasdaqGS: AAPL). Apple is schedule to issue their earnings results on Thursday. Let’s see how this week plays out before we draw any definitive conclusions as to where these markets may be headed. Have a great week and good luck to all.