TEXT OF STORY
Scott Jagow: It is earnings season, and we’ll get a bunch more today — Motorola, Exxon, Colgate-Palmolive, some others. In ordinary times, a great — or devastating — earnings report can really have an effect on the stock market. But right now, seriously, does anyone really care about earnings? Marketplace’s Jeremy Hobson explains.
Jeremy Hobson: Gary Shilling runs an economic consulting and investment advice firm. He says earnings reports aren’t worth much right now. First off, investors expect bad news, and have usually already factored it into stock prices. And he says the reports often contain outlooks that are overly bullish.
Gary Shilling: Projections are almost useless in recessionary times. Very few analysts have the fortitude to step up and see that the companies they follow are in trouble.
Michael Holland chairs the investment firm Holland and Company. He says he’s not interested in the fine print of how particular companies performed last quarter. Too much has changed since then.
Michael Holland: The specific numbers are less important than what the company is saying about how they view the short, intermediate term and how they’re coping with the changes.
He says what really grabs investors are reports that offer a plan of action. The steps companies will take to survive and perhaps even thrive in a recession.
In New York, I’m Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.