Earnings season is here again, and if initial indications are right, it may not be pretty. Companies have been offering cautious guidance ahead of the release of their fourth quarter results.
"There are a couple of supports for earnings season" that have kept down input costs, notably lower
(Read more: Fourth Quarter Earnings Outlook)
Andrew Busch, global currency and public policy strategist at BMO Capital Markets, is also relatively downbeat. While he thinks investors could be cheered initially if companies beat admittedly lackluster forecasts, he is more focused on companies' outlooks going forward. "My guess is, at some point we'll get disappointed with what's going on," he says. "Reality has to be there." Housing could be strong, he says, but "if we falter anywhere in here, there's a lot of reasons not to be excited."