Six some-odd weeks before the end of the calendar year 2012,
many questions we were concerned about not not having answers to
have been answered. Still others -- arguably bigger questions --
have yet to see resolution. For example, we now know who has been
elected president for the next four years, but the fate of the
Fiscal Cliff remains hanging in the balance.
Futures are up this morning, but that seems to have lots more to
do with attractive entry points in the markets following the
worst week of trading since June. Though Q3 earnings season
continues, we have already articulated how (un)successful it has
been, with most of the biggest S&P 500 companies already
having reported. What remains are mostly the main retailers, but
obviously what happens next quarter is what most investors are
interested in with this industry.
Overseas, we have some relatively good news from China and
Greece. China reported improvements in trade and exports, while
Greece has passed its "austerity budget," which is expected to
allow international creditors to loan the country funds to keep
it from bankruptcy.
) beat EPS estimates by a couple cents on increased
year-over-year revenues. Obviously this can be seen as good news,
especially regarding how traction in housing affects so much of
the U.S. economy, from mortgage banks to lumber companies to
appliance stores. But companies like Horton are working off very
low bars year over year. That said,
) reported a larger-than-expected fiscal 4th quarter loss, so we
may read this as improvements in the homebuilding industry
remaining a work in progress.
But it's the Fiscal Cliff investors are looking at. There is lip
service being paid on both sides of the congressional aisle that
it is a major concern and a top priority to being solved.
However, until it is, expect the markets to tread lightly.
BEAZER HOMES (BZH): Free Stock Analysis
D R HORTON INC (DHI): Free Stock Analysis
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