As the second-quarter earnings season begins, a major change in leadership is underway. The earnings for the S&P 500 will be down for the eleventh straight quarter. While most analysts expect earnings to drop by as much as 20%, it may not be so bad. The reason is that a weak dollar is aiding multinationals like Colgate-Palmolive (CL) and McDonald’s (MCD), so earnings may only be down 12% to 14%.
Economic anxieties are mounting especially after the surprisingly poor reports on consumer confidence and employment. These anxieties are causing fears of a double dip recession. Plus, growing budget deficits threaten to drive Treasury yields and mortgage rates much higher. This will only put more pressure on the battered housing market.
The message for investors is to continue to focus on fundamentally superior stocks like Marvel Entertainment (MVL) or Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR).