Post-Sandy Market Direction Could Depend on Earnings

Wall Street reopens on Wednesday, and no one really knows what to expect.

Two-day closures due to weather happen about once a century. Storms like Hurricane Sandy flooding New York’s financial district occur even less often.

At this point there are so many unknowns that investor uncertainty may approach unprecedented levels when trading first resumes. Investors will be looking for any little bits of news to clue them in on what stocks to buy and sell.

That will make this week’s remaining earnings reports more important than usual.

We’ve written before about how overrated earnings can be. Some investors put way too much stock into every earnings season, and refuse to see the big picture on various companies and market drivers.

But with four straight off-days and devastation literally at Wall Street’s doorstep, there is very little for traders to go on right now. Barring some major event out of Europe, earnings may be investors’ only true guide at the moment.

So pay close attention to third-quarter earnings reports the next few days. They may have more influence on the broad market than they normally do. Investors are sure to be easily swayed the rest of this week.

Here are some of the high-profile companies set to report earnings in the coming days – beginning with tomorrow morning’s Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX) report:


  • Phillips 66 (PSX) – at 8 a.m. eastern, before the market reopens
  • MetLife (NYSE: MET)


  • Avon Products (NYSE: AVP) – rescheduled from today
  • Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK)
  • Exxon (NYSE: XOM) – before market opens
  • Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) – rescheduled from today
  • Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS-B)


  • Chevron (NYSE: CVX)
  • Washington Post (NYSE: WPO)
  • Thomson Reuters (NYSE: TRI) – rescheduled from today
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