Market hurdles: Strong dollar, weak global economy

Earnings estimates for 2015 are likely to fall as the ongoing strength in the U.S. dollar and slowing global economy are factored in.

"There are early signs of estimate reductions for 2015, not only for companies, but maybe the market in general. Europe plays into that, China plays into that," Jim Russell, portfolio manager at Bahl & Gaynor, said.

Earnings from Apple and Boeing are examples of multinational companies beating expectations, but results from other large caps "are showing the global slowdown and the strength of the U.S. dollar working against robust earnings reports," Russell said.

Disappointing results from Caterpillar, Procter & Gamble and other multinationals had Wall Street in a funk on Tuesday, as they were seen as evidence of the global slowdown and the negative impact of the U.S. dollar's strength on sales overseas.

"We think what happened yesterday really sends a shot across the bow as to what we might expect for the first half of 2015; currency headwinds and possibly weak global demand will be themes we'll revisit," Russell said on Wednesday.

And with earnings in play, the volatility that has characterized the U.S. stock market so far this year is unlikely to fade.

"Earnings will continue to move the market around, which I think is a good thing," as it underscores company fundamentals and whether individual corporations have the ability to grow in the current environment, Michael Arone, chief investment strategist for State Street Global Advisors' U.S. intermediary business, said.

"It also helps distinguish between clear winners and losers, and we can remove ourselves a little more from the broad macro" picture, Arone added.