Wall Street lines up for profit parade close-up

October 20 02:14 2015

One by one, 116 companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index will join the profit parade on Wall Street this week, a five-day earnings confessional that could propel the stock market to more gains and year-end rally or snuff out optimism if a drumbeat of profit misses piles up. The Dow Jones industrial average is riding a three-week winning streak, as a lot of the gloom that pervaded over stocks in the summer has given way to some bullishness amid signs the Federal Reserve will hold off on interest rate hikes until 2016.635599310930669846-AP-FINANCIAL-MARKETS-WALL-STREET-70881114

Wall Street will get a big dose of earnings reports from companies that sell discretionary goods to consumers, tech firms that sell services and high-tech gadgets, as well as big industrial companies. So far the bulk of companies that have reported earnings have topped very low estimates. Through midday Friday, 71% of the 58 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings have topped expectations, above the 63% long-term beat rate, according to Thomson Reuters.

But earnings are still forecast to contract in the third-quarter, although the current -3.9% projection tops the -4.2% forecast on Oct. 1. Many of America’s best-known firms will report earnings. Today, investment firm Morgan Stanley (MS), tech giant IBM (IBM) and oil services play Halliburton (HAL) report.

The results were mixed. Citing market turbulence that hurt business, Morgan Stanley’s earnings fell 20 cents shy of expectations, with revenues missing big, too. That hurt Morgan Stanley’s shares, which were down $1.85, or 5,5%, to $32.10 in pre-market trading. Halliburton topped forecasts by three cents. IBM reports after the closing bell later today. Tuesday, consumer companies such as motorcycle seller Harley-Davidson (HOG) and burrito seller Chipotle (CMG) release results, as does online search play Yahoo (YHOO).