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"Certainly from an Apple-specific standpoint, people want to see them signal something," that would change the mind of those selling the stock, said Dan Greenhaus, global market strategist at BTIG.
Steve Milunovich, UBS Apple analyst, said he thinks Apple needs to announce some new product enhancements, but he doesn't expect that to happen until later in the year. For instance, the company could launch a lower end iPhone and the iPhone 5 upgrade could include fingerprint technology and digital wallet.
"I think tomorrow is going to be very interesting and we're getting close to capitulation. I'm not sure we're quite at the bottom," he said on CNBC's "Fast Money." "Obviously, if they announce a share repurchase program tomorrow that would help, but chances are they may not do that. In the meantime, it's like a battleship that's being fired on and isn't not firing back. So, until we see them actually fire back, which is when I think the stock potentially turns, I think it's going to continue to be fairly difficult."
Milunovich said the options market is pricing in a 10 percent to 15 percent dividend increase, but he thinks there's a chance the increase could be even more. "It's really about what's going to turn things around. It's about giving back cash, but innovation as well. Innovation is going to take time," he said. Apple was up 2 percent Monday, ahead of its earnings. Milunovich said speculation about CEO Tim Cook being forced out are premature and probably not likely, unless the company fails to turn things around with new products.
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Stocks closed higher Monday even as Caterpillar profits missed the mark and the company lowered its forecast. It did announce a share buyback, and its stock closed higher. The Dow was up 19 at 14,567; the S&P 500 rose 7 to 1562, and the Nasdaq climbed 27 to 3233.
Tuesday's earnings could also give more information on how multinationals are being impacted by currency, a factor for IBM and Coca-Cola, among others.
J.P. Morgan chief U.S. equities strategist Thomas Lee says the dollar, based on dollar index, is up five percent year-over-year, and that is a factor in the large number of revenue misses this quarter.
"With 40 to 45 percent of sales generated outside the U.S., this strength is a 2 to 3 percent headwind," he wrote in a note Monday.
As of Monday morning, 107 S&P 500 companies reported earnings and 56 percent had missed their revenue estimates, according to Thomson Reuters. But bottom line beats were strong, with 67 percent ahead of estimates on earnings per share. So far, consumer discretionary is the S&P industry sector showing the best earnings growth, up 6.8 percent. Energy is the worst, with profits down 4.1 percent.
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Greenhaus said the industrial companies and others in the next several days should help give a good picture of the earnings season as a whole. "This week is weighted toward industrials, and to the extent, they are global in nature, we'll be able to tell more," he said.
There are a few economic reports, including FHFA home prices at 9 a.m. ET and new home sales at 10 am. There is a $35 billion two-year note auction at 1 p.m.
But it's earnings that could make a difference. "People are excited to talk about companies, rather than the macro," said Greenhaus.
The morning's earnings include Discover Financial Services, EnCana, Gannett, Illinois Tool Works, Ingersoll-Rand, Coach, Johnson Controls, Lockheed Martin, Air Products, AK Steel, US Airways, Xerox, and CIT Group.
Besides Apple, Cree, Broadcom, Juniper Networks, VMWare, Owens-Illinois, and Panera Bread report after the close.