Fear vs Fundamentals: Redux
We are well into earnings season for the final quarter of 2019, but one could be forgiven for not noticing. After all, Coronavirus fears and the accompanying environment of heightened uncertainty have stolen the headlines. At the same time, they have poured cold water on what’s been a solid reporting season thus far, and market movements have been driven more by fears of a global pandemic rather than reaction to economic fundamentals.
An early take on earnings
As of February 14th, 289 of the 389 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings have beaten the Street’s estimates, with the average report being 5.4% better than predicted by analysts. Of note, U.S. banks got the season underway with some stellar results. Gains were reported across most business lines, with notable strength in the consumer divisions, reflecting ongoing domestic resilience that’s been at odds with woes in the factory space.