Faltering expectations drove the markets today, forcing the S&P 500
World economics delivered conflicting reports. Investors originally cheered confirmation of the EU's bailout initiatives for Spain, but those reactions quickly gave way to fresher headlines elsewhere. A Pentagon report to Congress also revived a months-old storyline: The Iranian military continues to improve missile accuracy, reigniting fear in the minds of some for heightened global conflict.
At the end of the day, though, earnings expectations provided the fireworks. Advanced Micro Devices
Industrial-goods manufacturer Cummins
Enough companies suffered harsh earnings revisions to call it a pattern, however, and that could mean bad news for the overall markets. J.C. Penney could easily adjust if it meets its $900 million target in cuts, but the sudden slowdown in emerging-markets growth has many investors troubled. Of course, this could all blow over tomorrow if companies begin to beat earnings reports, but a global slowdown would mean smaller returns for a much longer time period.
The easiest next move for the smartest investors: Stay alert. Volatility will continue to plague the markets, making it vital for every investor to track the important companies. With earnings reports upon us, stay up to date on all the news and analysis using your free My Watchlist feature. company below to get started:
Will Chavey owns no shares of the stocks mentioned above. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Cummins. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.