With a downcast earnings season passing the halfway mark, results from financial-technology and vaccine makers will arrive this week amid questions about consumer spending and demand for COVID-19 drugs. As inflation and recession anxieties calcify, though, anything good in the results might be better than normal for the stocks.
“To date, the market is rewarding positive earnings surprises more than average and punishing negative earnings surprises less than average,” John Butters, FactSet’s senior earnings analyst, said in a report Friday about the earnings season so far. Butters reported that companies that have beaten earnings estimates “have seen an average price increase of +2.3% two days before the earnings release through two days after the earnings release,” more than double the five-year average, which shows average gains of 0.9%. As for companies whose results fell short, they’ve experienced an average stock-price drop of 2% over that time frame, slightly more generous than the typical five-year average of a 2.2% decline. Overall, results are still coming up short. Seventy-one percent of S&P 500
companies have earned more than Wall Street expected during the …