Earnings Season is slowly coming towards its final week — and it hasn’t been pretty.

Revenues? Soft.

Profits? Disappointing.

Forward Guidance? Worst of All.

What does this mean — for the economy, for the market and for investing?


What say ye?



Category: Earnings, Markets

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

19 Responses to “Open Thread: How Are Q3 Earnings Going?”

  1. ConscienceofaConservative says:

    Profit margins for U.S. companies are way above mean at a time when Europe, Japan and China are decelerating.
    Can’t see how one makes a bet that earnings will be will be good, especially considering stock p.e. ratios.

  2. DiggidyDan says:

    For the economy, it sucks. More good people will get laid off and crappy managers will screw those left with more work, burning out the rest. In reality, those crappy managers with their overpaid salary and bonus are the ones that need to go.

    For the markets and investing, it’s more of a 3-way tug-of-war between QE ∞, unemployment, and inflation. Expect the juice to still flow to offset unemployment and less consumer spending, until inflation rears it’s head in a pronounced enough manner for it’s adverse effects to outweigh the benefits gained by QE for businesses and employment.

  3. capitalistic says:

    Not surprising. Cost cutting can only do so much. With flat top-line since 2009-ish, weak actual/forward capex, companies are better off engaging in M&A or heavy capex. Better use of cash + it will convey “growth”.

  4. lalaland says:

    Depends on if Barack Obama can get corporate America to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem, but overall: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpiGsMkQd2c

    Down, boy -

  5. David Putty says:

    I got to believe the hedge fund managers who are both lagging the S&P and under exposed to stocks are pleased to see the market come back here and are not in much of a hurry to jump back in.

  6. OT:

    too bad that the U.S. AG doesn’t ‘take a page’ from..”…When someone runs a racket, we’re going to make them liable for racketeering,’ says Cisco’s Mark Chandler…”


    btw, Yes, this is, more, Proof, that the Libertarian political philosophy is, actually, worth paying heed to..

  7. courageandmoney says:

    November 1976, Jimmy Carter Elected president….Market Peaks in December, SP500 at 108 and grinds lower for the next 14 months for a .382 fib retracement. Killing all remaining Bulls…..

    The Bear must run it’s cycle….It’s not over.

  8. pdzxc says:

    When the results are de-skewed they will turn out to be much better than is currently being reported by the mainstream media.

  9. RW says:

    Consumer demand and resolution of the so-called fiscal cliff — more accurately a fiscal slope or austerity bomb — are more critical than earnings reports this cycle because (a) earnings are more effect than cause and (b) corporations are cash fat so lower earnings will have little effect on ability to expand production whenever environment favors it.

    Shorter me: any “grand bargain” (what a laugh) other than the merest sop to the conservative base and the Very Serious Persons within the Beltway — that is, a “grand bargain” that actually substantively cuts spending and taxes — will result in recession in 2013 no matter what corporate earnings look like.

    That aside it’s a global slowdown and, unless they reverse policy course very soon, Europe’s austerity program will cost it a decade no matter what happens elsewhere. We truly are in an era where macroeconomic ignorance is very, very costly.

  10. pcassell says:

    Everyone is bearish, but for good reasons…so how DOES such a scenario usually play out?

  11. willid3 says:

    not sure that its not reality setting in. seems like revenues have been soft for quite a while now. little wonder. consumers dont have that easy credit scam any more to make up for lost income. and can’t forget baby boomers are starting to retire.

  12. illyia says:


  13. 4whatitsworth says:

    As long as there is so much uncertainty I think we are flat to down and the economy really looks like a mess. If we are lucky we will barely avoid a recession with GDP of 1-1/1/2 %. The only way earnings go up in this environment is with layoffs. I wish there was a way to bet on continued uncertainty because that is the only thing there is a lot of. No one knows how much taxes will go up, the drag Obomacare will have on the economy, or when and if the government will cut spending and what effect that will have. In addition we have the debt ceiling coming up.

    There are some bright spots energy costs coming down and housing starts moving up however even these are clouded young people need good jobs to buy a house and that is likely to be short lived and the EPA is ready to unleash new regulations on the energy business.

    I don’t see why anyone take on new risk in this environment? It takes all the guts and other body parts I have to keep my current positions. I am certainly not looking at adding any new risk that involves employees, taxes and regulations.

  14. gregory barton says:

    Expect the unexpected.

  15. wally says:

    My decision over a year ago was to set a target of X% for 2012 and do it by owning dividend-payers. I’ve been happy ever since and the ups and downs of price don’t bother me like they used to.

  16. louis says:

    Orderly movement down.

    Don’t forget who first uttered the words fiscal cliff, he of subprime is contained. All theater to distract you from that derivatives book.

  17. Hugh says:

    With regards the market I think people are now factoring in (somewhat late) the fact that taxes on dividends and capital gains are going to go up at yearend.

    I expect some people with nice gains waited until after the elections to see who would win, and have now decided to sell so as to be taxed at 15% instead of x% (where X>15).

    As far as the economy is concerned, I think the jury is still out although the ECRI/Hussman recession call seems increasingly plausible to me.

  18. ponchovillatoo says:

    First there seems to be a disconnect between what the market does and how the overall economy does as measured by GDP. A 1% drop in GDP may mean a 20% drop in the disposable income of the lower and middle income bracket where the majority of day to day demand comes from. Watch car sales but more importantly the discounts being offered. Watch retail sales but more important where the sales are coming from as in JCPenny and “clearance sales”. As far as gasoline goes at $3.20 per gallon it still does not lend itself to more driving as that price represents baked in inflation and not a deflationary price trend. Helpful yes but not a big boost tot he economy as guru’s would subscribe. The fiscal mudslide to painsylvania will continue. Under Obama things will be “bad”. Under Romney “much worse”. Under The Donald “worser” but we should just ignore him even if he won’t go away. Even Kudlow, Barry’s good buddy, seems to have a few microseconds of rational thinking.
    So some economists are predicting a fiscal drag due to the drought across the United States. Possibly in the 1% range with a rebound in 3Q 2013 as crop yields come back to normal. What’s normal mean? with weather events becoming more severe. As far as the “political scientists” go and the “climate change” deniers and the “bible” scientists go the “average” America cannot possibly become any more intelligent and just turn to blaming based on “internet truth”, Hannity, FOX NEWS and a variety of overpaid useless political pundits as in Rush, Rove and you know the list of suspects. Where are the good old American industrialists full of patriotism giving something back to America. Oh, they were morphed into the Koch brothers the Romney tax avoidance crowd who want indentured servants coming to their estate grounds to clean the bathrooms…and many of them….. because they are full of………..
    good will and high moral standards.

  19. ZedLoch says:

    “Fiscal cliff Fiscal Cliff Fiscal Cliff. But, Fiscal Cliff? Perhaps the Fiscal Cliff will Fiscal Cliff. So I think it all depends on the Fiscal Cliff.”

    -Every media outlet for the next month and a half….