A flurry of companies are set to announce their third-quarter earnings results in upcoming weeks.
Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at Standard & Poor's, said he thinks an improving GDP figure, the declining dollar and lower oil prices could cause the reports to be better than expected, at around a 7.5 percent decline year over year.
"That's a lot better than the 19 percent decline we saw last quarter, the 39 percent decline in the first quarter and the 101 percent decline in the fourth quarter, when we actually posted the first [S&P 500] loss in history," he said.
Stovall said the theme of "less bad" will continue, but Standard & Poor's is predicting a turnaround in several sectors. (See which sectors Stovall likes below)
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He also said it doesn't worry him that among the 75 percent of companies that beat in earnings per share last quarter, only 50 percent beat in terms of revenue.
"Let's remember that historically, revenues tend to bottom about two to three months after earnings tend to bottom, mainly because you have a two-variable with earnings — cost-cutting and revenues — but only a one-variable with revenues," he said.
Stovall's Predicted Top-Performing Sectors in Q3:
Consumer Discretionary, up by 91 percent
Health Care, up by 5 percent
Telecom, up by 2 percent
Stovall's Predicted Q3 Flops:
CNBC Data Pages:
Companies Reporting Earnings This Week:
- Alcoa Reports Surprise Profit; Sales Also Beat
- Costco Profit Falls, but Tops Views
- Yum Brands Earnings Easily Beat Expectations
- Pepsi Bottling Profit Beats Estimates
- PepsiCo Earnings Beat Expectations; Outlook Affirmed
Disclosure information was not available for Stovall or his company.