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“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the people to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” – Reed Hastings

Morning stock market summary

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Investors and traders are taking a breather this morning as they digest the latest round of earnings results.  A higher-than-expected inflation print in the UK has contributed to the negative tone. Gold, oil, and bitcoin are also trading moderately lower as yields rise in what to this point has been a risk-off environment so far this morning.

It’s still early in earnings season, but we wonder if the batch of earnings since yesterday’s close will be a trend.  Of the 23 companies reporting earnings since Tuesday’s close, 65% have exceeded EPS forecasts while just 55% have topped sales estimates.  Neither of those rates is exceptionally strong, and the 55% revenue beat rate is weak.

Breaking down the numbers a little bit, though, shows an entirely different picture.  Of the eight companies that reported weaker-than-expected EPS, all eight of them were from the Financials sector. In other words, ex Financials, the EPS beat rate was 100%.  You can’t get much better than that! In terms of sales, the beat rate wasn’t as strong, but it was still 70%.  It’s only one day, but if you’re a bear, the wave of weaker results has started to show up in full force- except it has only been evident in one sector.  If that weakness remains ringfenced to the Financials, bulls may stay in the driver’s seat.

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