WENY News - Market may be ignoring risks of an earnings slowdown

Market may be ignoring risks of an earnings slowdown

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By Paul R. La Monica, CNN Business

The market is rallying this year. But investors may be ignoring a few risks that could bring trouble in the year ahead.

Liz Ann Sonders, the chief investment strategist for Charles Schwab, is concerned that the impact of last year's corporate tax cuts will fade throughout 2019. Analysts are already forecasting that earnings for the first quarter will be lower than they were a year ago.

What's not clear is whether investors have already accounted for the expected downturn. They might have priced in a drop in profit last December, when the Dow and S&P 500 plunged 9%. But there's also a chance that this year's big market rebound — both indexes have gained 9% so far in 2019 — is a sign that investors are too easily brushing off any macro concerns about the economy.

Sonders thinks a so-called earnings recession — two straight quarters of year-over-year profit declines — is possible.

That's not something that the market is forecasting right now. But she believes an earnings recession is more likely than a full-blown economic downturn.

China is another major wild card for investors, according to Sonders and other strategists at Schwab.

Sonders and her team pointed out in a report released earlier this month that many big US companies, including paint maker PPG, chip giant Texas Instruments and auto parts supplier Lear, have cited weakening demand in China on their recent earnings conference calls.

Sonders will be talking about all this with CNN anchor Julia Chatterley on the "Markets Now" live show Wednesday at 12:45 pm ET.

"Markets Now" streams live from the New York Stock Exchange every Wednesday at 12:45 p.m. ET. Hosted by CNN's business correspondents, the 15-minute program features incisive commentary from experts.

You can watch "Markets Now" at CNN.com/MarketsNow from your desk or on your phone or tablet. If you can't catch the show live, check out highlights online and through the Markets Now newsletter, delivered to your inbox every afternoon.

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