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Market Preview: Who Still Wants QE3?

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It's a been a topsy-turvy week on Wall Street (mostly turvy), and this insight from David Bianco, chief U.S. equity strategist at Deutsche Bank, seems very appropriate.

"Investor excitement for QEternity overlooked the weakness that warranted it," he said in commentary on Monday. "Third quarter global deceleration has brought the worst earnings season since the recession. Rather than the accustomed to 2-4% beats and 8%+ y/y EPS growth of the past several quarters, it appears that the steadily lowered estimates will be beaten by only 1% and that y/y EPS growth will be flat for the S&P 500 and down 3% for non-financials."

That may be the essence of what transpiring this month. Stocks ran up from early in the summer in anticipation that the Federal Reserve would come across with more quantitative easing, but the flip side of that is the fact that the economy (arguably) needs more quantitative easing isn't good for stocks.

As Bianco points out, this earnings season is making that abundantly clear.

"Although most companies are meeting and slightly beating, there have been significant misses at large multinational companies that are sensitive to global manufacturing, investment and trade," he wrote.

Bianco remains bullish though, keeping his 12-month target for the S&P 500 at 1500 "until more clarity emerges" and "flipping" the firm's tactical call about what direction the next 5%-plus in the index will be to the upside.

Part of his motivation for that flip is a feeling that the presidential election is now a toss-up with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney having a 50% chance to emerge victorious. Bianco also thinks the road only gets more rocky from here.

"Fiscal policy uncertainty is likely to surge in the coming months," the firm said. "The fiscal cliff will be averted, but there will be fierce fights on the mix of spending cuts vs. tax hikes that spill into next year. How will the rating agencies and markets react?"

As for Friday's scheduled news, Merck (MRK - Get Report) is slated to report its third-quarter results before the open and the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters is for earnings of 92 cents a share on revenue of $11.57 billion in the September-ended period.
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