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Earnings will be the next test for the seemingly unstoppable $30 trillion stock market


For the fourth quarter, earnings are expected to grow by 12.1 percent, according to Thomson Reuters. Energy companies are expected to see the best profit growth, up nearly 140 percent, followed by materials, up 25 percent, according to Thomson Reuters. Financial companies are expected to see 13 percent earnings growth for the fourth quarter.

Of the roughly two dozen companies that have reported so far, about three in four have beaten expectations.

Calvasina said if earnings estimates are raised by 10 percent after companies reveal the impact of tax law changes, the price to earnings ratio would fall to 17.6 from about 19.4.

“I don’t think the tax is going to take market valuations and make them look cheap, but it’s going to give us some breathing room,” she said.

Calvasina expects the S&P 500 to finish the year at 3,000. Like many analysts, she does see a pullback coming this year after barely a sell off last year. “I don’t think an imminent pullback is coming. I think it’s going to be later this year,” she said.

Even so, some traders are getting a bit anxious about the way the market has run higher. “There’s a pain trade being created,” said Scott Redler, partner with T3Live.com who follows the short term technicals. “Sometimes fast and furious markets might be great for statements and 401ks, but for traders, when you get a little extreme, it definitely creates anxiety and a little more stress than if you had a pause.”

‘When you’re up six, seven, eight, nine days, it makes you feel like you’re chasing, and as a trader it’s harder to enter. You remember the prices you had a week ago,” he said. “Traders are probably a little more anxious and frustrated than they were with the S&P 40 handles lower.”

On the economic front, there are a few reports in the week ahead. Industrial production is expected Wednesday, as is the Fed’s beige book and Treasury international capital flow data is also due that day. Housing starts are Thursday, and consumer sentiment is Friday.



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