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Get ready for an awful earnings season – CNN

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A version of this story first appeared in CNN Business’ Before the Bell newsletter. Not a subscriber? You can sign up right here.
Brace yourself: According to estimates compiled by FactSet, analysts predict that earnings for the S&P 500 plummeted nearly 45%, which would be the biggest drop since a 69% plunge during the depths of the Great Recession in the fourth quarter of 2008. Revenues are expected to have fallen more than 10%. Retailers, energy companies and industrial firms likely reported the biggest declines in sales and profit.
Financial firms take center stage this week. JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC), Goldman Sachs (GS), Bank of America (BAC) and BlackRock (BLK) are just a few of the big banks and asset managers that will post their latest results.
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“Now that we are getting through the first full quarter of Covid-19 lockdowns … the effects of the pandemic and resulting loss of economic activity are starting to show an impact,” Mark Doctoroff, managing director and global co-head of the financial institutions group for MUFG, said in an email to CNN Business.
Doctoroff said investors will be keeping a close eye on loan quality — especially after a recent spate of high-profile corporate bankruptcies. Consumers may have struggled to make auto and credit card payments as well, even as many banks have offered mortgage forbearance programs.
But Doctoroff added that there could be some bright spots to bank earnings. Profits from trading desks could be robust, thanks to the surge in stock market volatility. Financial firms may also post solid results from their debt underwriting businesses. Companies have been rushing to issue new bonds as interest rates remain near zero.
Banks won’t be the only companies in the earnings spotlight. Pepsi, Delta, Netflix and Dow components Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and UnitedHealth (UNH) are also due to report their latest results.
It seems unlikely that many of these firms will provide much in the way of financial guidance due to the uncertain nature of the economy. For what it’s worth, analysts expect the profit picture to improve as the year progresses. And analysts now predict a big rebound next year, with profits expected to rise 12% in the first quarter and nearly 30% for all of 2021.
Hopes for a rapid, pronounced V-shaped recovery in earnings have been one of the main reasons why the overall market has rebounded so quickly from its March lows.
The S&P 500 is now down only 1.4% this year. It’s possible that the bear market is already over even though the overall economy remains weak and there are worries about another surge of Covid-19 cases in the United States. But the Federal Reserve has helped fuel expectations of a comeback with its trillions of dollars of loan programs.
“What you are looking at over the next 12 months is still a moderate recovery,” said Erik Knutzen, chief investment officer of multi-asset for Neuberger Berman, adding that there is a “titanic struggle” in the markets between bears focusing on weak fundamentals and bulls who have expectations for more stimulus.

Why Wall Street may be turning on US stocks

Is it time to look for stock buys outside the United States?
It’s a question investors are asking more and more as they ponder how long the massive run-up in US shares can continue.
Amazon, Apple and Microsoft race to $2 trillionAmazon, Apple and Microsoft race to $2 trillion
The numbers: The S&P 500 has risen 42% since its low point on March 23. Europe’s Stoxx 600 index has gained 31% since its March low.
But Wall Street strategists are increasingly looking at European shares more favorably, noting the strength of the region’s recovery from Covid-19 and seeing opportunities to tap value.
Last week, BlackRock downgraded US equities to a “neutral” rating, warning that a surge in coronavirus cases could hit the recovery just as support for more government stimulus starts to wane. Its strategists said they now favor European shares, citing robust public health measures and a “ramped-up” policy response.
They’re not the only ones. On a recent call with reporters, Evan Brown, head of multi-asset allocation strategy at UBS, praised German Chancellor Angela Merkel for quickly moving to roll out fiscal stimulus measures. There’s a lot of room for Europe to outperform, he said.
The counterargument: The massive rebound in US stocks has been driven by surging shares in companies like Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Alphabet, which helped push the Nasdaq toward a series of all-time highs last week. There’s no reason to think these companies will falter soon.
Brian Belski, chief investment strategist at BMO Capital Markets, said Friday that he believes US tech stocks can keep outperforming over the next 12 to 18 months given expectations for longer-term growth. But he told clients that selectivity may be increasingly important, and encouraged them to look beyond the traditional Big Tech names.
Monday: PepsiCo (PEP) earnings
Tuesday: US inflation data; UK balance of trade; Germany economic sentiment; Citigroup (C), Delta Air Lines (DAL), JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC) earnings
Wednesday: US industrial production; Goldman Sachs (GS) and UnitedHealth (UNH) earnings
Thursday: China GDP; US initial unemployment claims and retail sales; Bank of America (BAC), Charles Schwab (SCHW), Honeywell (HON), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Morgan Stanley (MS), Truist (TFC) and Netflix (NFLX) earnings
Friday: US housing starts and building permits; BlackRock (BLK) earnings

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Billionaire Stronachs split their company to settle family feud – BNN

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A family feud that tore apart one of Canada’s richest families has been settled by splitting the company that owns some of America’s most famous racetracks.

Frank Stronach and daughter Belinda Stronach said Thursday they have ended a long and public battle for control of the family business. Belinda will get control of the Stronach Group’s thoroughbred racing and gaming businesses, which include Santa Anita Park and Gulfstream Park, plus related real estate.

Frank Stronach and his wife, Elfriede Stronach, will get full ownership of a thoroughbred stallion and breeding business, including Stronach Stables, and farming operations in Florida, Kentucky and Ontario. They will no longer have any interest in Stronach Group.

In October 2018, Frank Stronach sued Belinda and others, including Stronach Group CEO Alon Ossip, for C$520 million (US$393 million), claiming mismanagement of the family fortune.

Belinda Stronach, a former politician who briefly ran Magna International Inc., rejected the claims of mismanagement. She said she was trying to prevent her father from pursuing “idiosyncratic and often unprofitable projects” that threatened the family fortune.

Neither Stronach has any current involvement with the operations of Aurora, Ontario-based Magna, Canada’s largest car-parts maker.

“I am pleased that my father will be able to focus on an agricultural business and related projects that are his passion. The settlement will allow The Stronach Group to continue building successful companies with quality jobs that contribute to the community,” Belinda Stronach said in a statement.

After a few years of working as a machinist in Austria, Frank Stronach arrived in Canada in the early 1950s with a few hundred dollars in his pocket and built Magna into a company with revenue of $28.7 billion and net income of U$1.1 billion by 2011 — the year he stepped down as chairman.

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Stronachs settle family feud – CBC.ca

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A high-profile feud among members of the Stronach family has been settled.

Under a settlement announced by The Stronach Group, control of the family fortune is basically split between two factions.

Former politician and business executive Belinda Stronach will remain chairwoman and president of The Stronach Group, with full control of its horse racing, gaming, real estate and related assets.

Her Austrian-born parents, Frank and Elfriede Stronach, will assume full ownership and control of a stallion and breeding business, all farm operations in North America and all European assets.

The family fortune was founded by Frank Stronach, who built the global Magna automotive manufacturing business — where Belinda worked for a time before entering federal politics.

Father and daughter issued a joint statement saying they were glad their disagreements had been settled.

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Bank of Canada cuts benchmark mortgage rate for 3rd time in months – Global News

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House-hunting Canadians saw their buying power increase this week as the benchmark five-year mortgage rate reported by the Bank of Canada fell for the third time this year, easing a key stress test faced by borrowers.

The central bank said the rate fell to 4.79 per cent, after decreasing to 4.94 per cent in May and to 5.04 per cent in March.

Read more:
Bank of Canada keeps key rate at 0.25%, sees 7.8% GDP drop this year

James Laird, the co-founder of Ratehub.ca and president of CanWise, said Thursday the lower rates will be a win for some.

“If you just barely couldn’t qualify (for a mortgage), you might now qualify for what you were looking for,” he said.

“It is a move that will allow you to qualify just a little more than you could before.”

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Mortgage rates have been falling in recent weeks.

While most borrowers do not pay anything close to the benchmark posted rate for a mortgage, the rate is used when assessing borrowers as part of a financial stress test.






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What you need to know before your deferring your mortgage payment


What you need to know before your deferring your mortgage payment

The check is meant to ensure homebuyers will be able to make their mortgage payments in the future if rates increase from the where they are today. The drop in the benchmark rate makes the test is easier.

According to Ratehub.ca’s mortgage affordability calculator, a family with an annual income of $100,000, a 10 per cent down payment and five-year fixed mortgage rate would have qualified for a home valued at $523,410 under the 4.94 per cent qualifying rate. Under the new rate, they can now afford $531,230.

Read more:
Coronavirus: What will happen to Canada’s housing market amid the pandemic?

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Laird said the rate drop was hardly a surprise because when underlying rates have been dropping, eventually posted rates catch up.

Though the decrease will help many, he categorized it as “not a major change.”

“Anyone was qualifying for a mortgage no problem, they are unaffected,” he said.

“Anyone who was not close to qualifying, they are also not affected.”

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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