U.S. equities have been buoyed by better-than-expected earnings reports, but some analysts feel that the upside thus far in 2019 could be only temporary. Investors could expect sideways, rangebound market movement for the rest of 2019.
Companies who have reported fourth quarter earnings thus far are showing a profit increase of 14.1 percent on a year-over-year basis, according to data from Factset. However, some companies have also tempered their profitability guidance for future quarters.
In fact, FactSet data is forecasting that that earnings for the first quarter of 2019 will decline by about 1 percent–a profit contraction not seen in the S&P 500 since the second quarter of 2016.
“Whether the pain trade of a grinding advance in equities will persist or falter, much depends on upcoming economic and earnings data, whether protectionist tensions improve/worsen and if the bond market stays calm,” wrote strategists at MRB Partners in a note. “The technical outlook for equities looks positive, although many indexes are now approaching resistance levels. There seems to be a moderate number of investors waiting for a correction in order to add positions, which contrarily usually means that the dips will be brief.”
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