Updated from 5:38 p.m. ET to include information on lowered guidance from Scholastic
NEW YORK (
) -- Are we really in for another month of speculation about the fiscal cliff?
Credit Suisse thinks so, saying it doesn't believe a deal is likely to occur until mid-December. Yikes. And, as stated
, this agreement is likely to be more stop-gap than ultimate problem solver.
Here's how the firm sees this unwanted holiday drama playing out.
"Our Washington public policy team believes sequestration will be 'switched off' and most of the Bush tax rates will be extended for a year," Credit Suisse said of the initial deal to avoid the cliff. "In addition, there could be some down payment on deficit reduction now. The short-term deal could involve some 'revenue' raisers for upper-income taxpayers, and perhaps some modest spending cuts. The debt ceiling could also be lifted."
Once that's out of the way, work on the so-called "grand bargain" can begin. Credit Suisse sees taxes as the most divisive issue between the two parties.
"Republicans have signaled a willingness to accept new revenues," the firm said. "But they remain opposed to tax rate increases. Instead, they favor base broadening as opposed to higher rates, and demand spending cuts in return. The President says he is 'open to new ideas,' but remains staunchly opposed to a deal without tax increases on the 'wealthy.' Meanwhile, the depth of Democratic support for spending cuts, especially entitlements, isanother unknown."
Just getting anything done though may be enough to placate Wall Street for a while.
Chairman Ben Bernanke voiced this sentiment in his latest
on Tuesday, sounding hopeful about the prospects for progress on the big picture if the politicians can show an ability to play nicely now.
"Moreover, while the details of whatever agreement is reached to resolve the fiscal cliff are important, the economic confidence of both market participants and the general public likely will also be influenced by the extent to which our political system proves able to deliver a reasonable solution with a minimum of uncertainty and delay," he said. "Finding long-term solutions that can win sufficient political support to be enacted may take some time, but meaningful progress toward this end can be achieved now if policymakers are willing to think creatively and work together constructively."
As for Wednesday's scheduled news, it's a slow earnings day ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.
is really the only name brand that's slated to open its books, and Wall Street is looking for a profit of $1.88 a share from the agricultural equipment maker in its fiscal fourth quarter ended in October on revenue of $8.85 billion.
Shares of Moline, Ill.-based Deere are up roughly 11% so far in 2012, though the stock's 52-week high of $89.70 dates back to Feb. 14. Since hitting a low for the past year of $69.51 on June 4, the shares have appreciated nearly 24% based on Tuesday's close at $86.
With a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 10.3X, the stock is still relatively cheap, and at least one prominent investor bought in last quarter as Warren Buffett's
revealed a new stake of 3.98 million Deere shares in a recent filing with the
Securities and Exchange Commission
but still delivered year-over-year revenue growth of 15%. For the fourth quarter, it forecast a 13% increase in company equipment sales and said some "caution" was warranted about the coming months because of uncertain global economic conditions and dryness in several key markets.
The sell side is slightly bearish ahead of the print with 11 of the 21 analysts covering the stock at either hold (9) or underperform (2) and the 12-month median price target sitting at $90.
Check out TheStreet's quote page for Deere for year-to-date share performance, analyst ratings, earnings estimates and much more.
The economic calendar, however, is pretty packed with the Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly mortgage application activity index due at 7 a.m. ET; weekly initial and continuing jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET; the final University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for November at 9:55 a.m. ET; leading indicators for October at 10 a.m. ET; and weekly crude inventories data at 10:30 a.m. ET.
And finally, shares of
were up slightly after the cloud computing company delivered a 35% year-over-year revenue increase in its latest quarter.
The San Francisco-based company reported non-GAAP earnings of $49.6 million, or 33 cents a share, for the third quarter on revenue of $788 million. The average estimate of analysts polled by
was for a profit of 32 cents a share on revenue of $776.5 million in the October-ended period.
Salesforce.com also forecast non-GAAP earnings of 38 to 40 cents a share in its fiscal fourth quarter on revenue ranging from $825 million to $830 million. Wall Street's current consensus view is for a profit of 40 cents a share on revenue of $829.9 million in the quarter.
The stock was last quoted at $148.49, up 1.8%, on extended volume of nearly 500,000, according to
The story at
isn't as favorable as the publishing company lowered its outlook after Tuesday's closing bell.
Citing lower curriculum product sales in its Educational Technology and Services business, delays in purchasing decisions because of uncertainty about the federal budget, and lower sales in its Book Club business, New York-based Scholastic now sees earnings from continuing operations of $1.40 to $1.60 a share for its fiscal year ending in May on revenue ranging from $1.8 billion to $1.9 billion.
The previous forecast was for earnings of $2.20 to $2.40 a share on revenue of $1.9 billion to $2 billion. The stock was called down nearly 19% after the bell but volume was very light.
Written by Michael Baron in New York.
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