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Earnings Season Is Here
Another quiet quarter in the books and it's time to tally the results.
The big banks will kick off earnings season in earnest this week, with JPMorgan on Tuesday, followed by Bank of America and Wells Fargo on Wednesday. Other bellwethers including Johnson & Johnson, Delta Air Lines, and UnitedHealth are also set to report this week.
Here's a quick rundown of what to expect:
In The Dark: Similar to the second quarter, many companies have eliminated the practice of issuing guidance due to the volatility of the pandemic. Just 69 companies in the S&P 500 have issued earnings guidance for the third quarter, below the average 100+ companies that typically do so.
Hopes Are Rising: Third quarter profit is expected to drop 20% vs. last year-one of the largest drops in history. But, on a relative basis, expectations are rising. In June, analysts expected third quarter profit would fall 25% on the heels of a 32% drop in the second quarter.
Lots Of Momentum: The S&P 500 is up more than 50% from its March lows. Coming off a strong week, the S&P is up 7.6% in 2020-a very average year.
The Takeaway: Analysts expect the worst is behind us. Corporate profits are expected to drop 13% year-over-year in the fourth quarter before rising again in 2021.