Both VFC and LII are at historic highs.
Over in Europe, better than expected earnings from Akzo Nobel (paints), Royal Phillips (lighting, healthcare, consumer products) and especially SAP (enterprise software) are being reported.
SAP is especially important since IBM was disappointing last week and SAP is a main competitor in the business software/services space.This follows on better than expected numbers last week from Google , General Electric, Ingersoll Rand (which raised both the low end of 2013 earnings and revenue guidance), Parker Hannifin (they raised 2014 ES guidance), Chipotle and Morgan Stanley.
Bottom line: Earnings were lowered once again as we ended the third quarter, to around 3 percent growth year over year, and it appears they have once again been lowered too far.
The big worry is that earnings for Q4 will be cut dramatically due to the government shutdown; current estimates are for earnings to grow roughly 9 percent. If historic standards hold, that will come down to roughly 6 percent; if it gets close to zero, the markets will have a major problem with that.
One problem: Revenue gains are still tough to come by. Of seven major companies reporting today, every one beat earnings estimates but five of the sevenfell short on revenues.