TEXT OF INTERVIEW
Steve Chiotakis: Alright, let’s reach out to Sam Stovall, Chief Investment Strategist at S&P Equity Research, he’s talking with us this morning. Sam, what’s everyone keeping an eye on?
Sam Stovall: Well I think first off, the markets are going to be focusing on corporate earnings. S&P expects that on a year-over-year basis, the S&P is likely to lose as much as 25 percent in this first quarter. But I think really investors are going to be listening to what kind of guidance companies will be offering, whether it will be very gloomy or whether they actually could be hinting toward the recovery in earnings toward the second half of this year.
Chiotakis: And a lot of these earnings will be banks, right?
Stovall: Absolutely. Well a lot of the banks, in particular JP Morgan Chase, will be coming out, and also we’re going to be taking a look at Citigroup. So . . . and the week after is when we’re going to see Bank of America. So in general, investors are going to be hoping that they get similar news from these other major banks that they got from Wells Fargo implying that maybe, the worst of the credit crisis is behind them.
Chiotakis: Will they get that kind of news, Sam?
Stovall: Uh, it might be a little bit too early to say, but I think certainly that the big variable is the mark-to-markets. And certainly if you have a floor underneath the market for some of these troubled assets, you don’t see them declining precipitously, then these banks don’t have to raise additional capital in order to maintain their capital exposure level. So if we don’t see a further weakening in those markets then that actually could provide at least a floor underneath the earnings for the financial stocks.
Chiotakis: Sam Stovall, Chief Investment Strategist at S&P Equity Research. Sam, thank you.
Stovall: Thank you, Steve.
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