Why a powerful begin to earnings season isn’t halting the slide for international shares

The Wall Road signal is seen exterior The New York Inventory Trade (NYSE) in New York, February 16, 2021.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

LONDON — Company earnings season is off to a flying begin, however the constructive surprises have up to now did not generate upward momentum for international inventory markets.

As of Friday morning, 13% of firms in Europe and 20% within the U.S. had reported first-quarter earnings, with the bulk exceeding consensus expectations.

Barclays analysts on Friday highlighted that earnings per share (EPS) development has been notably excessive to this point, at 107% year-on-year in Europe and 63% within the U.S.

EPS beats are above common for a reporting season at 74% in Europe and 83% within the U.S., Barclays highlighted, whereas gross sales development has stunned positively versus consensus by 1% in Europe and 4% within the U.S. Financials have led the beats, with all European financials up to now delivering constructive earnings per share surprises.

Nonetheless, each European and U.S. markets are down barely for the week, and Barclays Head of European Fairness Technique Emmanuel Cau prompt that prime earnings expectations had largely been priced into markets following their spectacular run and re-rating over the previous yr.

“Our view that the reporting season might grow to be a case of ‘journey and arrive’ appears to be taking part in out up to now,” Cau stated within the notice.

“The median inventory worth response to outcomes is certainly detrimental regardless of the robust beats to estimates, primarily within the U.S., whereas it’s broadly flat in Europe.”

Cau famous {that a} related sample had emerged within the earlier two earnings seasons, with inventory markets rallying within the run-up earlier than stalling, and starting to rally once more after a interval of digestion.

Marcus Morris-Eyton, portfolio supervisor at Allianz International Buyers, instructed CNBC Thursday that earnings season was anticipated to be robust as a result of “very wholesome macro tailwinds,” and that these will possible proceed for the subsequent a number of quarters, notably in Europe.

“However the problem for us as traders is expectations are very excessive, so these firms have to both meet or exceed expectations,” Morris-Eyton instructed CNBC’s “Squawk Field Europe.”

“You’ve got already seen just a few examples of the place firms have reported in-line numbers nevertheless it wasn’t adequate for the market.”

‘Correction issues’

The strong earnings supply might be essential for fairness markets to proceed their basic grind larger, however overbought technicals, broadly bullish positioning and the seasonal “promote in Could” mindset may place shares within the “hazard zone” for a pullback if a detrimental catalyst emerges, Cau prompt.

“The obvious can be a vaccine resistant (coronavirus) variant showing, however geopolitical flares or a hawkish coverage shock may harm sentiment too,” he stated.

“Additionally, we warned just lately about regulatory/taxation danger, which has been largely ignored by markets.”

The latter got here to the fore on Thursday, as markets had been spooked by stories that U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration is contemplating hikes to capital features tax as a part of its new financial package deal.

“Many indicators have been stretched for a while now and it could have been untimely to de-risk given the bettering fundamentals, however there appears to be much less margin for error now if one thing had been to go mistaken,” Cau stated.

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