Thursday, January 29, 2015

There's No Escape From Currency Headwinds As Earnings Season Kicks Off

This article was first published by Seeking Alpha on January 12, 2015

By Sarfaraz A. Khan. Research Asst. Adnan Mushtaq.

Alcoa (NYSE:AA) will kick off the earnings season when it releases its fourth quarter results later today. This will be followed by earnings in this week from major banks - Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) - as well as tech giant Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and the oil field services behemoth Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB). While there is a lot to look forward to in the year's first earnings season, one thing in particular that investors will be looking for is how the continued strength in the greenback's impacts earnings of some of the major U.S. firms, amid the weakness in oil prices.

The U.S. dollar has been going higher against the euro since the second quarter of 2014. The dollar index, which tracks the currency against it six major foreign peers, is trading close to its highest levels in the more than a decade. Moreover, analysts expect the rally to continue in 2015. The most recent data from Commodity Futures Trading Commission also shows optimism from currency speculators.

The dollar's rally has been fueled by relatively better performance of the U.S. economy as compared to the rest of the world, thanks to a stable business environment as well as the possibility of an increase in interest rates this year. This lures investors towards fixed income securities, which supports dollar's rally. This is in stark contrast to some of the other major economies that haven't given up on the idea of additional monetary easing. For instance …. Read full article at Seeking Alpha.