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Early (Y)Earnings

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I have been focused on trying to determine how attainable most 2H:03 earnings estimates are, highlighting in my Get Shorty piece that S&P 500 EPS estimates are +13% and +21% in Q3:03 and Q4:03 respectively (First Call). Over on the NDX, 2003 full year earnings are estimated at +46% ($33.83) and 2004 at + 27% ($43.02: Baseline) . David Rosenberg - Merrill Lynch's US economist - pointed out this AM that, of the 62 companies that reported yesterday, 25 (40%) guided down, 7 guided up (11%), and 30 were neutral (49%) in their guidance going forward.

Good news is getting sold, which is a real change in the tenor of this tape. Maybe, just maybe, we've found one of the reasons why. I'll be sure to keep a close eye on these stats and report them as they become available. For now, Tony's "good enough" thesis makes the most sense, but to the degree that 2H estimates need to come down aggressively after Q2 reports, that may represent more hope than reality. Keep your eyes peeled.
Position in NDX, SPX

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