Apple just a bit of a respite from currency concerns

Currency's Game of Thrones: Lacamp
Currency's Game of Thrones: Lacamp   

After investor sentiment took a large hit in the wake of disappointing results from multinationals, Apple's breathtaking results should be a welcome relief to Wall Street.

The consumer-technology supplier beat on both the top and bottom lines in releasing results after Tuesday's close, with its shares rising in extended-hours trading.

"It's the first time Apple will sell more iPhones in China than in the U.S., but on balance the currency concerns we've dealt with today (Tuesday) probably won't be as steeped into the Apple results," Art Hogan, chief strategist at Wunderlich Securities, said.

"They have a bit of a currency offset because they make things in lots of different currencies and sell in different currencies. It's not as though they are making things in dollars and selling in euros," said Hogan, who adds the impact of the dollar's strength has "an effect, but it's not as marked as a strictly traditional U.S. manufacturer, like Procter & Gamble and Coca-Cola.

Currency remains a large factor—along with energy and financials—as the fourth-quarter earnings season gets off to "a disappointing start," Burt White, chief strategist at LPL Financial, wrote in emailed commentary.

The depreciation of the yen and euro versus the dollar creates a currency drag that will likely cost many U.S. based multinationals as much as 4 percent of their revenue, "despite currency hedging," White said.

However, Nick Raich, CEO at The Earnings Scout, believes "some companies are using currency as an excuse for their bad numbers."

While currency certainly impacts global trade, the overall impact on corporate bottom lines "tends to be overhyped," Raich said.

More concerning is "the oil-price shock and the spillover effects it is going to have into other sectors as energy companies feel the direct pain," Raich said.