Publication of quarterly results of US companies, with the season starts really this week, will be without doubt steering wire equity markets. Already last week, caution has prevailed on the major financial centers around the world after the slight disappointment caused by Yahoo! and Alcoa, first to announce their results for the second quarter. Several warnings on results, especially in the area of software with those of PeopleSoft, Veritas Software, and Siebel, had been strongly punished by investors and strengthened the caution at the start of the high season of publications.
After a very strong first quarter, stakeholders fear disappointment and remain on the reserve. In the past week, the Dow Jones thus gave 0.68, the S & P 500 1.12. The Nasdaq Composite, given the weight of technology stocks, fell on his side of 3.01 to now negative performance since the beginning of the year. Investors did not evidence more of recklessness in Europe where the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 index suffered a weekly 0.28 erosion. The positive signal that represented Friday comments from American General Electric on the economic situation has had an impact limited, even though he allowed Wall Street to post a positive session.
The tone is given: Beware of companies that disappoint expectations. With disappointing forecasts, Yahoo! including made charges last week, despite results consistent with the expectations of analysts. Across the Atlantic, more than 50 companies that make up the S & P 500 index will publish their quarterly figures this week. Including expected results from Intel, call Computer, Johnson & Johnson, Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, Citigroup or even PepsiCo. According to Thomson Financial, the profits of the companies of the S & P 500 should show growth of 19.4 in the second quarter after an increase of 27.5 in the first. For the third quarter, the erosion of growth expected to continue, 14.9.
Statistical side, after mixed figures last week, investors will take knowledge of a new battery of macroeconomic data. They will be particularly attentive to the evolution of prices in the CPI (CPI) and production (IPP), published Friday and Thursday respectively. The high level of oil supplies effect concerns. The price of a barrel of crude is back test the level of 40 dollars in New York late last week and economists do not bet on a weakening of the price of oil in the coming months.
Given a still buoyant demand, "any concern about the evolution of the supply of oil translates immediately on prices", emphasize Antoine Brunet and Paul Douaihy, strategists at HSBC-CCF. And remember that, last week, the price of crude has thus responded to a new sabotage of an Iraqi oil pipeline as well as the risk of disruption of production of Yukos, first Russian producer while Nigeria's Total production has also been interrupted for five days. The threat of new attacks put forward by the White House are not more likely to mitigate the climate of caution on the markets. These are good the profits of companies which will have to be at the height to restore a dynamic equity markets.