Companies doing more US business reap rewards
Companies that generate most of their sales in the U.S. had better revenue growth in the second quarter, and that trend could continue to be evident next week, when about a third of the S&P 500 companies report.
So far, companies with more than half of their sales in the U.S. have reported second-quarter revenue up an aggregate 4.6 percent, while those with less than half have grown only 1.6 percent, according to Thomson Reuters analyst Greg Harrison.
Analysts will be watching Netflix, Ryder, Ford, Eli Lilly and Harley-Davidson, all of which make a significant portion of their revenue in the U.S. and report earnings in the coming week.
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Apple, McDonald's, AT&T, Pfizer and Merck also report next week.
Wall Street is still in the early part of earnings season, but analysts at Barclays took an early read of some 16 percent of companies in the S&P 500 and found that earnings are becoming increasingly reliant on domestic demand.
For example, General Mills, Costco and Verizon, all of which generate more than 70 percent of revenues from domestic operations, reported above-average increases in revenue in the second quarter. Total second-quarter revenue for General Mills was up 8.5 percent year-over-year. Costco was up 8.0 percent, and Verizon rose 4.3 percent, according to Thomson Reuters.
Experts say a pickup in the U.S. economy is helping companies post higher revenue growth.
The U.S. market's appeal remains centered on the relative strength of its economy, "risk aversion among foreign investors that favors U.S. investments and the likelihood that any European economic recovery will continue to trail the U.S. by one to two years," said John Stoltzfus, Oppenheimer's chief investment strategist.
McDonalds reports Monday morning. Analysts expect a 3 percent revenue jump, to $7.1 billion, and a 6 percent increase in earnings per share, to $1.40. Ahead of the report, some analysts have voiced caution about McDonald's margins because of the rising cost of raw materials such as beef, chicken and corn.
Tech giant Apple reports its third-quarter earnings after Tuesday's closing bell. Analysts expect the company to report EPS of $7.31, a 22 percent drop year-over-year. Revenue is expected to be flat, at $35.1 billion.
Apple has been facing heightened smartphone competition from Samsung, as well as saturation in the mobile market. New-product introductions would be unlikely to move the needle this fiscal year, according to Hudson Square Research, which said it considers fiscal 2013 Apple's "lost year."
Hudson Square analyst Daniel Ernst expects Mac sales to be down 2.7 percent and iPhone sales to be up 4 percent. He also sees potential upside to his 17 percent sales growth forecast for the iPad.
AT&T also reports after the bell on Tuesday. Wall Street is looking for second-quarter EPS of 68 cents on revenue of $31.8 billion. Analysts at Trefis write that wireless saturation has hit AT&T hard, with subscriber growth slowing down.
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Investors in health-care names will be waiting for Pfizer and Merck's announcements.
Merck is projected to report second-quarter revenue of $11.3 billion, which would be a 9 percent drop year-over-year; Merck's EPS are expected to drop 21 percent, to 83 cents a share.
The Street looks for Pfizer to report a 13 percent decrease in revenue growth, to $13 billion, and an 11 percent contraction in EPS, to 55 cents.
The health care sector is the top performer this year, with pharmaceuticals being a standout, outdoing materials, industrials and utilities. Analysts say that for health care stocks to keep climbing, second-quarter earnings will have to be strong.
—By CNBC's Seema Mody. Follow her on Twitter: