Second-quarter earnings season gets started today when Dow component Alcoa (NYSE: AA) reports after the close of U.S. markets, but investors may want temper their expectations when it comes to upside surprises. Companies have already been tipping their hands that this earnings seasons could be a trying one.
Citigroup recently said preannouncements were the most negative since 2009 and that there were nearly seven negative preannouncement for each positive one, report Randall Forsyth and Johanna Bennett for Barron’s. Data from S&P Capital IQ in the Barron’s piece indicate six of the 10 S&P 500 sectors are expected to report negative earnings growth for the second quarter.
Investors looking for a potential standout should consider financial services. The second-largest sector weight in the S&P 500 is expected to post earnings growth of nearly 16% and it could be regional bank stocks and ETFs that best serve investors when bank profit reports start rolling in. Investors have already been pumping cash into financial services such as the Financial Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLF) and the SPDR S&P Bank ETF (NYSEArca: KBE), but the SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF (NYSEArca: KRE) looks strong as well. [Investors Pumping Cash Into Bank ETFs]
Regional bank stocks and ETFs such as KRE have already been identified as potential winners in a rising interest rate environment. Some regional banks have seen their earnings crimped by low interest rates. Net interest margin, or the spread between the average yield on loans and securities investments and a bank’s borrowing deposits costs, has pressured earnings power for regional banks, but a steepening yield curve could mitigate further NIM downside. [Regional Bank ETFs Could Benefit From Rising Rates]
KRE, which home to almost 80 stocks, has already benefited from rising 10-year Treasury yields. Since late May, the ETF has hauled in nearly $500 million in new capital, bring its assets under management total to almost $2 billion. More importantly, since 10-year Treasury yields began rising in earnest at the start of June, KRE has jumped 9.4%.