After myriad disappointments such as results from the likes of Apple, Intel and Alphabet and similarly dispiriting results from smaller companies like Twitter (which really doesn’t belong in this conversation, but here we are, darling), the stock market is now looking ahead for some kind of big win in earnings season to sort of set investors a bit less on edge.
Morning Bid with David Gaffen
So, uh, that happened. Apple put together an earnings report that seemed to spell the official end of the iPhone as an unstoppable force, as time, well, time waits for no one. And so after nine years without a sales decline, one has finally happened, and it’s cast a pall over markets so far in the early going for futures. Just how much the market reacts will be instructive for how much Apple still means for the overall market.
It doesn’t seem to make exact sense, but the market isn’t far from a record and looks set to extend the bull market to make it the second-longest such bull run in history as the S&P 500 closes in on another all-time record. The market right now is grinding through lackluster global growth, expectations that the Fed is going to raise interest rates again before long, uncertain direction of oil prices, and right now a pretty ugly earnings period that has started off with some really uninspiring results from the banks and a handful of big tech companies.
No one can say they weren’t warned here. After a pretty muddled message from the likes of the head of Rosneft, Saudi officials and others, the fact that Iran didn’t even send an emissary to the OPEC meeting in Doha, Qatar over the weekend, probably should have sealed the deal on the expectations there would be no agreement among oil producers to limit production.
The banks giveth and the banks taketh away. What was viewed as a nice beat over really terrible expectations from J.P. Morgan’s earnings are being washed away today by Bank of America’s earnings, which include a lot of the same weakness that we saw in its rival, though perhaps as the first one out of the gate and having beaten terrible expectations J.P. Morgan just looks better somehow.
Right now the market seems to be in a place of benign neglect when it comes to worrying about things like earnings, slow global growth, central banks, and anything else that might qualify as the type of thing that would keep the markets from moving much higher.
The first big round of sector earnings comes with the banks, and there’s not a lot of optimism going around when it comes to this part of the market. JP Morgan Chase & Co begins the run of financials results with results due out Wednesday, followed by Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup later in the week; big investment banks Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are due to come early next week.
The beginning of earnings season this week brings the usual hopes for best-case scenarios, particularly as the outlook has deteriorated notably since the beginning of the year, when it was still thought that the weakness would be mostly confined to the impaired energy sector.