Look Ahead to Earnings

09/19/2014 12:01 am EST

Focus: STOCKS

Jim Jubak

Founder and Editor, JubakPicks.com

Instead of watching the central bankers, MoneyShow's Jim Jubak thinks now is the time to focus on the next earnings season to get a better idea of the economy's health.

For the week ahead, I think it's time to start shifting away from the focus-fascination-obsession with global central banks and interest rate raises, or lowers, or hold steady and just print lots of money to think about that in about two weeks, we're going to close the third quarter and we'll move into earnings season. With the S&P and the Dow up near historic highs, this is a pretty important earnings season because we've got to see some kind of earnings growth out of US companies that justify these valuations and it's really going to be sort of company by company because there's been a kind of breakdown between GDP growth and profit growth, because a larger share of profits than historically has gone to corporations than to workers and other people who actually work there.

The question is whether we can see that going forward, whether we see an expansion of that, whether we get some good news and guidance going forward from some of the Bellwether stocks. What we've got is really, I think, more a question of, “Okay, let's hold the fort for the third quarter and see whether guidance picks up some speed for 2015 for the fourth quarter,” because that's what we're really looking at.

With valuations at this point, the market is not terribly expensive if the growth comes through but we're not going to see growth for everybody because GDP is just not chugging along fast enough to move everybody up so it's going to be company by company.

What are we going to see from well, the Apples (AAPL) of the world? What are we going to see? Are we going to see recovery for profits from McDonalds (MCD) and IBM (IBM)?

Are we going to see a continued positive story out of Amazon (AMZN) and Facebook (FB) about social media and advertising? All these things are going to factor into where the economy goes. What we've seen over the last oh, say two months is kind of a move toward larger cap safer stocks. If that continues, we will see the market, the rally start to get dangerously constricted as it narrows. What you don't like to see is stocks moving up as a market toward higher and higher levels and participation in the rally getting narrower and narrower and that's what we've seen. What I'd like to see in the third quarter results and the market's reaction to that is, again, a broadening out of the number of stocks that are participating in the rally and that's what I'm looking for, oh, for the next say three to four weeks.

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