Investors will and should look for improving revenue, or top-line, growth — numbers to really tell the story of what the future looks like.
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Investors should question how much longer companies can "restructure" — code for layoffs and cost reductions. If the economy IS improving, then we should see companies committing to new hires and new investments in capital expenditures (capex) which should translate into a strengthening GDP in the coming quarter and quarters. Investors will also be listening for new opportunities for companies to grow their businesses.
The heat is on. After the market's recent selloff — a selloff that was muted at best in the broader market — investors will be a bit more critical, I think. We realize that as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen pledges to keep interest rates near zero for the foreseeable future to continue to help the economy, this will continue to blur the lines between reality and La-La Land. Investor should be questioning what this REALLY says about the health of the U.S. recovery.