Apple’s lack of bite may halt rise on Wall St

APPLE may have lost nearly half of its value since its peak in September, but it's still the talk of the town. Only this time, it’s all about how low can it go?

Wall Street would normally be set for a technical rebound after a drop of more than 2 per cent, the worst weekly decline so far this year. But that could easily change by the time the iPhone maker reports its earnings, which are due tomorrow after the closing bell.

Wall Street has been recently pressured by a slew of disappointing economic data and weaker-than-expected earnings reports from blue-chip companies like IBM.

For the week, the Dow fell 2.1 per cent, the S&P 500 also lost 2.1 per cent and the Nasdaq slid 2.7 per cent. On Friday, the benchmark S&P 500 index closed at 1,555.25.

With the earnings season in full swing, the growth in S&P 500 companies’ first-quarter earnings is now estimated at 2.2 per cent, up from a 1 April forecast for growth of 1.5 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters data, based on results from 104 companies and estimates for the rest.

Of the companies that have reported, 67.3 per cent have beaten analysts’ earnings expectations, while just 43.3 per cent have beaten revenue estimates. Revenue growth is seen at just 0.7 percent for the first quarter over the year-ago period.

About a third of S&P 500 companies and a third of the Dow components – 10 blue-chip companies – are scheduled to report earnings this week.

Among Dow stocks, Caterpillar kicks off today, followed by DuPont, United Technologies and Travelers tomorrow.

Boeing and Procter & Gamble report on Wednesday, followed by Exxon Mobil on Thursday. Chevron wraps up the week by reporting on Friday.