NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The direction of stocks may continue to be held hostage to the fiscal cliff for the immediate future but that's not stopping some folks from sticking to their bullishness about 2013. Canaccord Genuity equity strategist Tony Dwyer backed a target of 1650 for the S&P 500 for next year on Tuesday. That view would represent nearly 18% appreciation from Tuesday's close at 1399 as well as a new all-time high. "History, global monetary policy, and the fundamental sweet spot of U.S. economic data argue strongly for better performance as we move through the end of Q4/12 and into next year," said Dwyer. "We remain optimistic due to further evidence of sustainable improvement in (1) consumer sentiment, (2) employment, (3) credit availability and (4) housing." Dwyer said the firm's overweight sectors are still consumer discretionary, information technology, financials and "to a lesser degree Industrials" and stressed looking at the big picture on earnings, noting that third-quarter results didn't turn out as badly as feared. "Clearly, the top line for 3Q12 was weak, but the quarterly reports ended better than expectations going into the reporting season," he said in Tuesday's research report. "The current consensus view for 4Q12 and 2013 SPX operating EPS calls for reacceleration." As for Wednesday's scheduled news, American Eagle Outfitters ( AEO) is slated to report its third-quarter results before the opening bell, and the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters is for a profit of 39 cents a share in the October-ended period on revenue of $873.3 million. Shares of the Pittsburgh-based teen apparel and accessories retailer are up more than 45% in the past year, though the stock has pulled back nearly 20% since hitting a 52-week high of $23.94 on Sept. 19. At current levels, the valuation is still reasonable with the forward price-to-earnings multiple at 12.5X and the forward annual dividend yield at 2.2%. The sell side is fairly bullish with 15 of the 25 analysts covering the stock at either strong buy (11) or buy (4) and the 12-month median price target $25.75, implying potential upside of nearly 33% from Tuesday's close at $19.39.
Count Sterne Agee among the bulls on American Eagle. The firm, which has a buy rating on the stock with a $27 price target, is expecting in-line results for the quarter and it believes the company did well over the first big shopping weekend of gift-giving season. "Our holiday checks this weekend suggested AEO sales were off to a good start with promotional levels similar to last year," the firm said. "Under new management the Company has significant top- and bottom-line drivers with inventory management a key focus." Sterne Agee said it's expecting American Eagle to provide a forecast for earnings of 55 cents a share for its fiscal fourth quarter ending in January, a view that's in line with the current consensus. "We are projecting comps up 3% against 10% for Q4 LY, with holiday comps last year up 12%," the firm said. "While comps were strong last year, excess inventories led to gross margins under pressure at 35.2%, down 520 bp
basis points Y/Y. We project gross margins to rise significantly in Q4 to 41.5%, up 630 bp. Our checks of Black Friday weekend sales suggested a good start to the period with its promotions equal to last year at 40% off through Sunday." Check out TheStreet's quote page for American Eagle Outfitters for year-to-date share performance, analyst ratings, earnings estimates and much more. Other companies slated to report their numbers on Wednesday include Coldwater Creek ( CWTR), Express Inc. ( EXPR), Fresh Market ( TFM), Guess? ( GES), Jos. A. Bank Clothiers ( JOSB), La-Z-Boy ( LZB), Movado Group ( MOV), New York & Co. ( NWY), Pall Corp. ( PLL), and TiVo ( TIVO). Wednesday's economic calendar features the Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly application activity index at 7 a.m. ET; new home sales for October at 10 a.m. ET; weekly crude inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET; and the release of the Federal Reserve's beige book survey on economic conditions for October at 2 p.m. ET. And finally, shares of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters ( GMCR) were perking up in Tuesday's late trades after the company blew past Wall Street's expectations for its fiscal fourth-quarter results. The stock was last quoted at $35.40, up more than 22%, on volume of more than 5 million, according to Nasdaq.com. Green Mountain reported a non-GAAP profit of $101 million, or 64 cents a share, for the September-ended period on revenue of $946.7 million. The average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters was for earnings of 48 cents a share in the quarter on revenue of $902.7 million.
For its fiscal first quarter ending in December, Green Mountain forecast non-GAAP earnings of 62 to 67 cents a share and total sales growth of 14-18%. The current consensus view is for a profit of 59 cents a share. Groupon ( GRPN) was another big mover after the bell as shares of the online deals site rose following a report that co-founder Andrew Mason could be on his way out as chief executive officer. The stock was up 2% at $4.04 on late volume of nearly 400,000. -- Written by Michael Baron in New York. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Michael Baron.