And so far, it’s a mixed bag. As this earnings reporting season kicks into high gear, most of the banks that have reported so far have come in above consensus estimates with Citigroup (NYSE: C) being one notable exception. Citigroup did report a $2.69 billion dollar profit, however, this was below consensus estimates and the bank did cite weakness in their mortgage and fixed income divisions. The stock closed lower by over 4% on the day. Another sector that is being challenged so far this year is the retail sector, at least certain companies within the sector such as Best Buy (NYSE: BBY). Although Best Buy did not report their earnings, they did come out with their holiday same store sales today which were significantly below analysts’ expectations and the company lowered their guidance due to disappointing holiday sales. On that news, the street hammered Best Buy’s stock today sending its shares lower by $10.74 per share or almost 30% on over 85 million shares in volume. This type of massive volume compared to a typical volume day of around 6 million, could be considered a washout or capitulation type trading day, hence a potentially sharp bounce back and potential recovery in its share price? Let’s see how the next couple of trading sessions play out on Best Buy before we draw any conclusions on a potential snap back rally.
Now let’s take a look on how the key indices are faring so far this year starting with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) which is down 1%, the Nasdaq (chart) is up 1%, the S&P 500 (chart) is essentially flat, and the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) has gained about 1% since the beginning of the year. So as you can see, a mixed bag here as well with the benchmark indexes.
Looking ahead to tomorrow’s key earnings reports, we will hear from the likes of General Electric (NYSE: GE), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), Bank of New York Mellon Corp (NYSE: BK), and Schlumberger (NYSE: SLB) just to name of few. Next week we will hear from powerhouses International Business Machine (NYSE: IBM), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), Halliburton (NYSE: HAL), Abbot Labs (NYSE: ABT), Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (NYSE: FCX), U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), and Honeywell (NYSE: HON). Of course there are hundreds of other companies reporting next week as well, but I will be paying closer attention to the aforementioned companies due to their reach in the economy here and abroad.
I think this earnings reporting season will be scrutinized more than any other in recent years. Everyone wants to see top-line growth out of corporate America to confirm what the most recent economic data has revealed. With that said, and with what we have seen come out of certain slices of the retail sector, I am expecting a bumpy ride between now and the end of Q4 earnings reporting season. Good luck to all and make sure to consider having protective stops in your portfolios. The markets will be closed on Monday due to the MLK holiday.
Have a great holiday weekend 🙂