The pace of earnings picks up speed in the coming week. Bellwether earnings reports across a swath of sectors should confirm or contradict Wall Street's high hopes for the third-quarter earnings season.
The earnings season already has delivered a mixed bag even with just the handful of companies issuing their reports. Citigroup Inc. (C - Get Report) , JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM - Get Report) and Bank of America Corp. (BAC - Get Report) beat earnings estimates even as they dealt with an expected decline in trading revenue. Meanwhile, Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC - Get Report) sold off on Friday, Oct. 13, after litigation costs made for disappointing quarterly earnings.
Even so, analysts were generally positive over the earnings season. Those surveyed by Thomson Reuters anticipate earnings growth of 4.4% in the third quarter, or 2.3% excluding energy. Revenue is expected to rise by 4.4%.
"I'm optimistic," said Joe Heider, president at Cirrus Wealth Management, in a call. "I think we'll see a continued positive earnings season which will support the market continuing its bull run... Despite all the noise of Washington, the economy itself and the private sector have done very well."
On the earnings calendar in the coming week, Netflix Inc. (NFLX - Get Report) will report on Monday, Oct. 16; CSX Corp. (CSX - Get Report) , Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS - Get Report) , Harley-Davidson Inc. (HOG - Get Report) , Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Get Report) , Progressive Corp. (PGR - Get Report) and UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH - Get Report) on Tuesday, Oct. 17; Alcoa Corp. (AA - Get Report) , American Express Co. (AXP - Get Report) and U.S. Bancorp (USB - Get Report) on Wednesday, Oct. 18; Alliance Data Systems Corp. (ADS - Get Report) , AthenaHealth Inc. (ATHN) , Dover Corp. (DOV - Get Report) , KeyCorp (KEY - Get Report) , Phillip Morris International Inc. (PM - Get Report) and Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ - Get Report) on Thursday, Oct. 19; and General Electric Co. (GE - Get Report) , Kansas City Southern (KSU - Get Report) and Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB - Get Report) on Friday, Oct. 20.
The economic calendar for the week includes: the Empire State Manufacturing Survey for October on Monday; import and export prices and industrial production for September, and the housing market index for October on Tuesday; housing starts for September on Wednesday; the Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey for October on Thursday; and existing home sales for September on Friday.
Finally, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will speak at the NEC Herbert Stein Memorial Lecture and Annual Members Dinner on Friday. Markets still believe the Fed will hike interest rates again at its December meeting, according to CME Group fed funds futures. However, investors will be keen to gauge the pace of hikes next year, particularly in light of soft inflation trends.
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