Overall Positive Earning Reports Escalating Market’s Confidence

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Overall Positive Earning Reports Escalating Market’s Confidence

Stocks have moved back close to the record level where we started 2014 as some of the worries that weighed on the market over the last few weeks have started to ease. Today’s session will likely reflect further follow through on this theme.

Investors appear willing to look past the recent run of soft U.S. economic data, with weather generally getting all the blame and growth expected to resume in the second half of the year. Investors appear to be applying a similar logic to the earnings picture as the Q4 reporting season winds down, with near-term growth challenges expected to eventually ease up along with the economy.


The weather explanation for the recent run of soft economic data certainly makes sense – it has been one hell of a winter this year. The expectation is that data will improve as the economy’s deep freeze thaws with the arrival of Spring. What this means is that February’s data arriving in March will be no better and we will need to wait at least through April (for March data) to start seeing some light. As such, investors have given up on GDP growth in the first quarter, with the economy’s growth momentum expected to resume in the second of the year. All of this sounds plausible enough, though last week’s negative revision to December and November Retail Sales numbers runs counter to this weather-centric narrative and is likely reflective of less consumer spending momentum in Q4 than earlier believed.

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On the earnings front, including this morning’s reports Coca Cola (KO) and others, we now have Q4 results from 404 S&P 500 members. Total earnings for these companies are up +11.1% from the same period last year, with 68.6% coming ahead of consensus EPS es