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Earnings Theme: U.S. Sales Weak, Global Strong

The pattern is now very clear: companies that have significant exposure to the U.S. consumer market are having problems. Whether it is Coach (lowered guidance), IHOP (drop in guest traffic), Brinker (ditto), or Whirlpool (lower overall sales).

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These companies are 1) seeing slower business in the U.S. market and 2) get a significant part of their sales in the U.S.

How significant? The vast majority of IHOP's sales are in the U.S. (they have a few restaurants in Canada), about 90% in the case of Brinker, about 60% in the case of Whirlpool.

By contrast, other companies like DuPont also reported sales were slowin the U.S. (sales outside the U.S. were up 11%, U.S. down 2%). But because DuPont gets about 60% of its sales outside the U.S., the company was actually able to raise its guidance for the full year slightly.

There is the dividing line: how much international exposure you have is the big factor in what your earnings look like, and investor reaction.

This has important implications for small cap stocks, which have greater exposure to the U.S. market than large-cap stocks.


Questions? Comments? tradertalk@cnbc.com

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  • A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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