The Week Ahead: Bracing for the Storm

Earnings season is normally a busy period, but the current one is likely filling at least some investors with stress, as a greater percentage of companies have missed expectations and revised outlooks downward. Of the more than 1,200 companies that shared quarterly results last week, the market was weighed by noteworthy announcements from Caterpillar (CAT), 3M (MMM), Netflix (NFLX), Deckers (DECK), VeriSign (VRSN)  and Apple (AAPL). A number of positive announcements were seen from Facebook (FB), which appears to be getting its mobile house in order; Broadcom (BRCM), which is benefitting from the increasing shift toward mobility; and Coach (COH), among others.

Although last week's economic data came in relatively light, we did receive the latest durable-orders report, as well as the initial gross domestic product reading for the third quarter. The headline numbers on both were favorable, though sifting through the data reveals that both reports benefited from stronger-than-expected government/defense and lumpy transportation spending. Adjusted for those factors, the data continue to point to a modest recovery. That has prompted the return of job cuts from the likes of DuPont (DD), Newell Rubbermaid (NWL), Colgate-Palmolive (CL) and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), to name a few. ...1128 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

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