NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- While Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has been the recent market mover, Steve Sachs, head of Capital Markets at ProShares, tells TheStreet's Gregg Greenberg investors will quickly shift their focus to corporate earnings.
While earnings results have seemed to be on par so far, it's still too early to see the whole picture. Alcoa (AA) unofficially kicked things off Monday after the close, but with the FOMC minutes released on Wednesday, investors have only seemed to care about Bernanke's comments.
According to Sachs, expect investors to start caring a whole lot more when earnings season really gets underway over the next couple of weeks.Specifically, what's the top-line growth look like? While management can cut costs and twist different figures to get a decent earnings beat, revenues will be under the most scrutiny. Sachs added that good margins and solid earnings per share are nice, but sales are going to be the most important. It will show whether these companies are actually growing in this slow economic environment. Stocks have certainly had a bumpy ride and that won't change anytime soon. That's likely the same story with MLPs, REITs, and other high-yield securities, he said. Long-term investors will be fine buying here, Sachs said, but short-term traders might want to be careful, as rates will likely continue to rise -- albeit, much more gradually than the surge seen a few weeks ago. The bigger question remains: What effects will be had when the Fed begins to not only taper its bond-buying program, but actually unwind its balance sheet? The effects on inflation, commodities and interest rates are still unknown, he added. However, there is a way that investors can get yield and protection against a rising interest rate. The ProShares High Yield-Interest Rate Hedged ETF (HYHG) is exactly what it appears to be. It will protect investors from a rising interest rate, while providing the income that is sought by high-yielding assets, he said. -- Written by Bret Kenwell in Petoskey, Mich. Follow @BretKenwell