NEW YORK (Reuters) – While good business news has been in short supply, investors may take slight comfort in coming weeks from U.S. corporate earnings that are likely to be bad, but not as bad as they have been.

Analysts expect third-quarter S&P 500 earnings to have fallen 21% compared with the year-ago quarter, a big improvement from second-quarter’s 30.6% drop that was most likely the low point for earnings this year because of coronavirus-fueled lockdowns, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Earnings reporting will get rolling next week with results from some of the big U.S. banks, likely impacted by near record low interest rates and the pandemic-induced recession. JPMorgan & Co.

and Citigroup

both release results on Tuesday.

(Graphic: S&P 500 Q3 earnings look bad, but not as bad as Q2 – https://graphics.reuters.com/USA-STOCKS/azgvoaoyzvd/chart.png)

Overall, S&P 500 quarterly results tend to beat analysts’ cautious expectations, and they could do that even more than usual this reporting season, strategists said. In a break from the typical trend, guidance from U.S. companies has been more positive than negative and estimates have been improving in recent weeks to reflect more upbeat guidance.

Whether that will be enough to support stocks in the weeks ahead is up for debate.

“Very rarely in the last 10 years have we seen earnings estimates moving higher after a quarterly reporting season,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York.

“That’s a very good sign. It’s a sign there’s a strong possibility this quarterly earnings season is now going to be better than expected,” he said. “The only problem is, now that we’ve entered the fourth quarter, a lot of the economic indicators are plateauing.”

That could weigh on fourth-quarter guidance and overshadow some of the better-than-expected results, he said.

Data this past

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK (Reuters) – While good business news has been in short supply, investors may take slight comfort in coming weeks from U.S. corporate earnings that are likely to be bad, but not as bad as they have been.

Analysts expect third-quarter S&P 500 earnings to have fallen 21% compared with the year-ago quarter, a big improvement from second-quarter’s 30.6% drop that was most likely the low point for earnings this year because of coronavirus-fueled lockdowns, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Earnings reporting will get rolling next week with results from some of the big U.S. banks, likely impacted by near record low interest rates and the pandemic-induced recession. JPMorgan & Co. <JPM.N> and Citigroup <C.N> both release results on Tuesday.

(Graphic: S&P 500 Q3 earnings look bad, but not as bad as Q2 – https://graphics.reuters.com/USA-STOCKS/azgvoaoyzvd/chart.png)

Overall, S&P 500 quarterly results tend to beat analysts’ cautious expectations, and they could do that even more than usual this reporting season, strategists said. In a break from the typical trend, guidance from U.S. companies has been more positive than negative and estimates have been improving in recent weeks to reflect more upbeat guidance.

Whether that will be enough to support stocks in the weeks ahead is up for debate.

“Very rarely in the last 10 years have we seen earnings estimates moving higher after a quarterly reporting season,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York.

“That’s a very good sign. It’s a sign there’s a strong possibility this quarterly earnings season is now going to be better than expected,” he said. “The only problem is, now that we’ve entered the fourth quarter, a lot of the economic indicators are plateauing.”

That could weigh on fourth-quarter guidance and overshadow some of the better-than-expected results,

(RTTNews) – European stocks saw a choppy session on Wednesday as investors appeared somewhat clueless about a potential new coronavirus relief plan as they digested a couple of treats from U.S. President Donald Trump.

Markets were also reacting to updates about coronavirus spread. In France, new coronavirus cases continued to see a daily rise of over 10,000. The French government has placed Paris on maximum Covid-19 alert.

Trump had tweeted Tuesday afternoon that he has instructed his administration’s negotiators to stop stimulus discussions with Democrats until after the presidential election, triggering heavy selling in the U.S. market.

Later on Tuesday, Trump indicated he would support individual stimulus measures after calling off negotiations over a broader relief package.

“The House & Senate should IMMEDIATELY Approve 25 Billion Dollars for Airline Payroll Support, & 135 Billion Dollars for Paycheck Protection Program for Small Business. Both of these will be fully paid for with unused funds from the Cares Act. Have this money. I will sign now!” Trump tweeted.

He later added, “If I am sent a Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks ($1,200), they will go out to our great people IMMEDIATELY. I am ready to sign right now. Are you listening Nancy?”

The pan European Stoxx 600 ended down 0.12%. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 edged down 0.06% and France’s CAC 40 declined 0.27% and Germany’s DAX moved up 0.17%. Switzerland’s SMI ended lower by 0.44%.

Among other markets in Europe, Denmark, Iceland and Ireland closed higher. Belgium, Finland, Greece, Norway, Russia and Spain declined, while Austria, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Sweden and Turkey ended flat.

In the UK market, Rolls-Royce gained more than 5%, rebounding strongly after losses in the previous session. CRH, Glencore, Kingfisher, Fresnillo, Ocado Group, Rio Tinto, Taylor Wimpey, Antofagasta and Melrose gained 2 to 3%.

Among

Personal income fell -2.7% in August. Still, consumer spending rose 1.0% M/M. What Gives?

The economy is still very much an employment story. While the official U3 unemployment rate fell to 7.9% from 8.4%, the underlying data was, simply put, “ugly!”

“Excess” Savings

Last week, I discussed the theory that the “excess” savings from the stimulus packages (one-time stimulus checks and the now expired supplemental $600/week in unemployment benefits) would carry the economy through Q4. No Way!

The pre-virus savings level was $1.2 trillion. The CARES Act stimulus ballooned savings to $6.40 trillion in April (everything was closed; nothing to spend it on except toilet paper, bottled water, and some frozen entrees). Then the re-openings began. In May, savings fell by -$1.9 trillion. In June, by -$1.0 trillion. Then it levelled off. July was -$0.2 trillion, August -$0.8 trillion. Personal savings stood at $2.4 trillion in August, not all that far from the pre-virus average level of $1.2 trillion. 

The fall in savings explains how consumer spending actually rose by +1.0% in August despite a fall in income (-2.7%), the impact of not receiving the supplemental $600/week in unemployment benefits. Furthermore, I see a continuing negative impact on income as significant layoffs occurred in August and September as noted in the media and the latest unemployment releases.

It is highly unlikely that savings are going to return to the pre-virus $1.2 trillion level. As pointed out last week, history shows that precautionary saving increases significantly after such employment shocks. In the current episode, there is evidence that a significant chunk of the lower wage community did not have access to enough cash to survive for 90 days. Do you think they will spend their

By Ahmad Ghaddar

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices fell on Thursday as rising coronavirus cases dampened the demand outlook, with further price pressure from a rise in OPEC output last month, though losses were capped by renewed hopes for U.S. fiscal stimulus.

Brent crude <LCOc1> futures fell 17, or 0.4%, to $42.13 a barrel by 0818 GMT and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude <CLc1> futures were down 22 cents, or 0.6%, at $40.

“It has become evident that the virus has not been contained. Infection rates are going up, the global death toll has surpassed the 1 million mark and the world is becoming a gloomy place once again,” said PVM Oil analyst Tamas Varga.

In the United States alone the pandemic has infected more than 7.2 million and killed more than 206,000.

Increasing oil supply from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) also weighed on the market, with output in September up 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) from August, a Reuters survey found.

The rise was largely on the back of higher supplies from Libya and Iran, both exempt from an oil supply pact between OPEC and allies led by Russia, a grouping known as OPEC+.

“Increasing supplies from OPEC+ will be risking the rebalancing effort as the market is still grappling with weak demand,” ANZ Research said.

Prices received some respite from progress in U.S. talks on a stimulus package for the world’s biggest economy.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has proposed a new stimulus package worth more than $1.5 trillion.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin earlier said that talks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had made progress on COVID-19 relief legislation, and the House of Representatives postponed a vote on a $2.2 trillion Democratic coronavirus plan to allow more time to agree a bipartisan