WALL STREET WEEK AHEAD

ON top of Eurozone debt troubles, Wall Street now has to worry about sagging sales from Europe as a recession in the region seems more likely.

Warnings from companies such as chemical maker DuPont and chip maker Texas Instruments suggest the crisis may already be taking its toll on corporate America.

While holiday shopping has started on an upbeat note, the corporate warnings could sour the cheer for some investors.

“We are now beginning to see the collateral damage of the events in Europe with the earnings guidance cuts,” wrote Peter Boockvar of Miller Tabak & Co. in New York.

Fourth and first-quarter earnings growth estimates for Standard & Poor’s 500 companies have come down sharply since July, underscoring worries about companies’ outlook.

Earnings are now expected to increase 10.1 per cent for the fourth quarter, down from a growth estimate of 15 per cent at the start of October and from an estimate of 17.6 per cent in July.

The data also showed that negative preannouncements by companies are outpacing positive ones by the biggest ratio since the second quarter of 2001.

Late Thursday, Texas Instruments cut its revenue outlook for the current quarter, citing lower demand, while DuPont on Friday lowered its full-year profit forecast.

Overseas, German specialty chemicals group Wacker Chemie also cut its outlook, with the industry worried about slower global growth.

In technology, Lattice Semiconductor Corp cut its fourth-quarter revenue outlook on Friday.

For the week, the Dow rose 1.4 per cent, the S&P gained 0.9 per cent and the Nasdaq was up 0.8 per cent.

Earnings increased 17.9 per cent for the third quarter, up from a forecast for 13.1 per cent growth in October. Prospects for profit and revenue growth are the reason why a good number of analysts remain optimistic about stocks heading into 2012.