Bull markets are said to climb a wall of worry, and that has certainly been the case this year. But many of investors' biggest concerns about the strength of the current rally could be resolved this week, Cort Gwon, market strategist with FBN Securities, pointed out in an interview Monday morning.
For starters, earnings are going great guns. Gwon says 85% of S&P 500 companies that have reported so far this earnings season have beaten analysts' expectations, making it the best season of the last six or seven years. This week brings earnings from Ford (F), Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), 3M (MMM) and more.
Merger Monday Returns
The return of Merger Monday also is a positive sign that companies are investing for the future. (Among other deals, Hertz today said it's buying Dollar Thrifty and Mirant and RRI Energy two weeks ago announced they would merge.) In addition, as investors receive cash from these transactions, they are likely to reinvest it in stocks.
The macroeconomic backdrop is, of course, improving as well. On Tuesday, we will learn the latest from the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index, which gives an important view into a potential housing market recovery. (The market consensus anticipates a year-over-year rise of 0.1%.) And on Friday morning, the gross domestic product (GDP) report will be released. "Hopefully, with a good GDP number, that will create momentum and create new jobs," Gwon says.
Finally, if the International Monetary Fund and European Union can put together a rescue package for Greece, investors will start to feel secure about international markets too. If all the news goes well this week, Gwon argues, the bull market could have plenty of room to run.
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