Earnings Roll Out as EU Makes Progress - Analyst Blog

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There is favorable looking news out of Europe this morning, with Greece appearing to be making progress in arm-twisting its private creditors to accept 'voluntary' losses on their holdings and all except two of the 27 European Union members agreeing to put more flesh on their plans to move towards a closer fiscal union.

On the domestic front, we have the Chicago-PMI reading a little later, giving us a preview of the manufacturing ISM survey coming out Wednesday. We also have the November Case-Shiller Home Price Index and a host of earnings reports from blue-chip companies.

As a follow up to the December agreement, 25 out of the 27 EU members agreed to new rules that define new deficit and debt levels for member countries and provides for stricter enforcement mechanisms. The two hold-outs -- Britain and the Czech Republic -- are not part of the Euro-zone, which is a sub-set of the broader EU.

The agreement requires governments to keep budget deficits at an average of 0.5% of GDP over the economic cycle and to reduce government debt to 60% of GDP over time. There will be fines for errant governments, with the European Court of Justice given the authority to impose fines, which will be capped at 0.5% of GDP.

The leaders did not announce the creation of a €500 billion permanent bailout fund, known as the European Stability Mechanism. A decision on that issue, including the proposal to boost the size of the fund, has been put off till the next EU summit on March 1. This is an incremental positive development for Europe as it moves the union towards greater fiscal integration.

On the earnings front, Pfizer ( PFE ) came ahead of earnings and revenue expectations, but the company lowered its 2012 earnings guidance. Eli Lilly ( LLY ) also came ahead of expectations. Both drug giants recent lost patent protection on core blockbuster drugs, with Pfizer's Lipitor and Lilly's Zyprexa going generic. Archer Daniels Midland ( ADM ) missed earnings expectations on continued margin pressures in its oilseeds business, offsetting its better-than-expected revenue numbers.

United Parcel Service ( UPS ) modestly beat on earnings on roughly in-line top-line numbers. RadioShack ( RSH ) pre-announced weaker than expected numbers for the quarter, citing softness in its business reselling Sprint ( S ) wireless service and margin pressures due to greater reliance on promotions during the holiday season. We have Amazon ( AMZN ) reporting after the close today.


 
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PFIZER INC ( PFE ): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
RADIOSHACK CORP ( RSH ): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
SPRINT NEXTEL (S): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
UTD PARCEL SRVC (UPS): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: ADM , AMZN , LLY , PFE , RSH

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