—This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on December 21, Tuesday.
Welcome to CNBC Business Daily.
U.S. markets return back to trade today after the Martin Luther King Junior Holiday. And earnings are set to take center stage with more than 60 S&P 500 companies reporting.
These include Dow components Procter & Gamble, McDonald's, Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson and Verizon Communications.
So far, of the 10% of S&P 500 that have reported results, half topped earnings forecasts.
That's well below the historical average of 63%. While about two-thirds have beaten revenue expectations. So what should be expecting from the earnings season? We asked the experts. Have a listen.
MARTIN LAKOS. Division Director: Macquarie Private Wealth: At the end of the day 60 very big names coming through this week- far broader breadth and depth of the U.S. economy ranging from companies like GE, IBM and Texas Instruments as well. Valuations are when you talk about QE ratio or PE , they are important. But corporate balance sheets are in great shape, there has been a massive deleverageing process. A lot of cash on balance sheet. We are business investments yet to lift; big driver of growth in US mkt as well.
MICHAEL KURTZ,Global Head of Equity Strategy, Nomura: Increasingly as we move forward in to the year ahead, we really need an earnings growth argument to make a case for equity upside. You can just say that the multiples will expand as the big macro risk continues to compress at this point
HANS GOETTI, Chief Investment Officer, Banque Internationale a Luxembourg: In 2014 we can't expect the same expansion in PE ratio, we have to rely more on earnings. That of course will be slightly challenging cos those companies who can produce revenues will come out on top as profit margins are peaking. So we have to watch everything on the selective basis, company by company basis.
DON GIMBEL, CIO, International Geneva Investment Management of Chicago: The total number of people employed in U.S is not rising enough to make a major impact on growth in U.S. That will affect the people spending, thats gonna affect coprortate earning. Thats another reason I think its gonna be a tough sledding in 2014 for US stocks, not going to collapse but its going to v. difficult to make a lot of headweight.
Meantime, its a relatively light week for economic data. Markets will be looking out for existing home sales numbers due on Thursday. And according to a Reuters poll, home sales for December are forecast to edge up for the month. We will also get Markit's Flash manufacturing PMI for January on the same day.