Updated from 5 a.m. EDT
NEW YORK (
) --- Positive earnings brought about a negative response from investors last week. And as a new trading week begins, that same negative vibe appears prevalent.
As of 6:55 a.m. EDT Monday, participants who were bearish in the
Bull vs. Bear poll tallied 354 votes, or 48.1% of the total 736 votes cast. Bulls scored 309 votes, or 42% of the total, while survey-takers who were neutral on the stock market this week came in at 73 votes, or 9.9%.
Last week started off well enough when
earnings topped analysts' estimates, and then
earnings skyrocketed. In fact, according to Thomson Reuters, almost 70% of the
companies that reported last week topped estimates.
Bank of America
came in Friday with revenue that was below expectations, the stock market sold off and the major stock indices closed down 2.5% or more on Friday.
Adding to investor woes on Friday was a report that showed consumer confidence had fallen. Earlier in the week other macroeconomic releases revealed an economic recovery in the U.S. and the globe could be stalling.
This week 122 companies in the
are scheduled to report earnings. Investors get reports the likes of
Participants in the
Bull vs. Bear poll viewed the commercial banks sector as the sector most likely to rise and fall this week.
Premarket futures suggest stocks will rise when Wall Street opens Monday.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
finished last week down 1%, the S&P 500 lost 1.2% and
edged lower by 0.8%.
Asian stocks closed mostly lower Monday while European stocks were higher, reversing earlier losses.
> > Bull or Bear? Vote in Our Poll
The poll closes at 9:15 a.m.
Here's a wrap-up of our other polls:
Ten days ago, LeBron James chose to break with long-standing sports tradition of keeping deals between players and management in the private realm before announcing them to the world. It's fair to say he paid a hefty public-relations price in doing so.
Yet that's all water, or in the case of Cleveland, mud flats under the bridge now.
The real question is whether or not LeBron James and the Miami Heat made the right decision to merge, and this question has its own business world metaphorical implications. It's a merger of the best independent property in the NBA with a conglomerate that believes that the synergies created by signing LeBron will result in its inevitable rise above peers. It's your classic M&A deal, but which kind of M&A deal will the LeBron James-Miami Heat merger represent when history replaces the judgment of Dan Gilbert?
We asked readers of
last week to weigh in on the issue. Asking them choose whether the LeBron James-Miami Heat pairing was the glorious
-Pixar merger, the
Sirius XM Radio
deal of necessity, the
debacle, or the Quaker Oats-Snapple "peak buying" disaster.
Taken together, readers who think the LeBron-Heat tie-up will devolve into corporate deal-making disaster like Time Warner-America Online or Quaker Oat-Snapple represent 62% of the votes cast.
The message for investors? Start building your Miami Heat short positions before the opening tip of the next NBA season.
>>Click here for full results and analysis of our LeBron James poll