According to Thomson Reuters, 70 percent of the S&P 500 companies reporting so far have beaten earnings estimates, while 59 percent have beaten on revenues. The materials, financials, health care, and industrial sectors have had the most beats on a percentage basis, while consumer discretionary and utilities had more misses so far.
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Pimco portfolio manager Tony Crescenzi said the Fed will seek to make few waves this week when it ends the QE program. Language on keeping rates low for a "considerable time" will probably be left in its statement or replaced with something very similar. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard suggested market volatility could delay the Fed's plan to end QE, but most Fed watchers expect it to finish the program.
"Given the volatility in markets recently, and the decline in inflation expectations, this will be a time to aim to do no harm, and that is the likely tone of the statement," Crescenzi said. Even with the end of QE bond purchases, the Fed continues to replace securities on its balance sheet as they mature, and it holds about $4.4 trillion in assets.
"The committee's sizeable holdings should maintain downward pressure on rates," Crescenzi said, adding some Fed officials believe the large balance sheet is a more powerful tool than the actual bond purchases.
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Ward McCarthy, chief financial economist at Jefferies, said the Fed will slowly move away from its easing programs, since it has to manage both the balance sheet and the move back to higher interest rates. "I think the Fed wants to stay under the radar right now, and work out a number of issues between now and the December meeting, when they'll probably make some changes and try to improve on their communication," he said.
As for the economy, this week the first look at third-quarter GDP is of big interest. As Crescenzi notes, it would be the fourth of five reports to show 3 percent plus growth if it comes in at 3 percent as expected.
"Given all the anxiety about global growth, the U.S. is the shining star in the global growth constellation so that will be an important number from a psychological standpoint," McCarthy said. "I think it should be pretty good at 3.2 percent. The first estimate is always a bit of a wild card."
Around the world
Traders will be watching Europe over the weekend, where the results of bank stress tests are expected to be announced Sunday morning. The euro was stronger Friday, as traders expected the stress tests would not reveal too many major problems. Reuters reported 25 banks failed the tests, and they either have or will have to shore up capital.
The Brazilian presidential election will be decided in a runoff vote Sunday, between President Dilma Rousseff and pro-business candidate Aecio Neves. Crescenzi said Brazilian yields have been rising, reflecting a probable Rousseff victory. Markets could be very volatile if she does not win, he said.
What to watch
Earnings: Merck, Amgen, Seagate Technology, Twitter, United Health Services, Buffalo Wild Wings, Healthsouth, Tenneco, Hartford Financial, T-Mobile US, XL Group, Cliffs Natural Resources, AvalonBay, PMC-Sierra
FOMC meeting starts
Earnings: BP, Facebook, Pfizer, Gilead Sciences, Dupont, Anandarko, Electronic Arts, UBS, Novartis, Sanofi, Honda, Sirius XM Radio, Coach, AutoNation, Cummins, CIT, Corning, Consol Energy, Newfield Exploration, Noble Energy, TD Ameritrade, Starwood, Express Scripts, Panera Bread, Western Digital, Marriott, Vertex Pharma, US Steel, Luxottica, Owens-Illinois, Whirlpool
8:30 a.m.: Durable goods
9:00 a.m.: S&P/Case-Shiller home prices
10:00 a.m.: Consumer confidence
10:00 a.m.: Housing vacancies
1:00 p.m.: $29 billion 2-year note auction
Earnings: Deutsche Bank, Visa, Kraft Foods, Fiat Chrysler, Allstate, Statoil, Total, Range Resources, Murphy Oil, Suncor, Ralph Lauren, Nintendo, Phillips 66, Questar, Akamai, Hyatt, McGraw-Hill Financial, Wellpoint Health, Hershey, Hess, Praxair, Agnico Eagle Mines, RF Micro, Dreamworks Animation, F5 Networks, MetLife, Baidu, Flextronics, Williams Cos, Shutterfly, Southern Co, Automatic Data, Carlyle Group, Boaz Allen
7:00 a.m.: Mortgage applications
10:30 a.m.: EIA oil inventories
1:00 p.m.: $35 billion 5-year auction
2:00 p.m.: FOMC statement
Earnings: Royal Dutch Shell, Samsung Electronics, ConocoPhillips, Kellogg, Mosaic, Microchip Tech, Expedia, Crown Castle, Eastman Chemical, Boston Beer, Newmont Mining, Mohawk, Tesoro, Groupon, LinkedIn, Teva, Altria, Starbucks, Johnson Controls, New York Times, Eni, Fortress Investments, Starz, GNC Holdings, LPL Financial, Old Dominion Freight Line, CME Group, Public Storage, Time Warner Cable
8:30 a.m.: Weekly jobless claims
830 a.m.: Q3 real GDP
9:00 a.m.: Fed Chair Janet Yellen makes welcoming remarkets at Fed conference in Washington, No Q&A
1:00 p.m.: $29 billion 7-year note auction
Earnings: Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Sony, A-B InBev, AbbVie, Clorox, BNP Paribas, Madison Square Garden, Pinnacle West, Newell Rubbermaid, Rockwell Collins, NextEra Energy, Charter Communications, Legg Mason, CBOE Holdings, Weyerhaeuser, Teco Energy, Dominion
8:30 a.m.: Personal income and spending
8:30 a.m.: Employment cost index
9:45 a.m.: Chicago PMI
9:55 a.m.: Consumer sentiment