Retail and Other Earnings
The first quarter saw a lot of volatility in markets, but there also was a lot of volatility in terms of the weather throughout much of the country. Extreme cold and snow storms throughout the Midwest and East Coast have been blamed for lackluster GDP growth, slower consumer spending and lukewarm job growth in 2014.
Thing is, while we’ve gotten various warnings, we have yet to really see how the weather has affected corporate bottom lines; however, beginning shortly, we’ll start to see how companies performed in Q1.
If we see retail bellwethers such as Walmart (WMT), Home Depot (HD) and others come in with strained numbers, it could be a major headwind for stocks going forward. Conversely, if retail sales and other metrics defy the weather, and if numbers come in better than expected in other key segments, it could be a very pleasant climate for stocks in Q2.