By Mike Teich
Stocks are coming off their best quarter in a decade, but pressure on earnings margins puts markets at risk of losing momentum, according to PwC partner Mitch Roschelle.
“A lot of companies, when they were giving guidance for the year were very, very conservative. That may just be managing expectations a bit. But I think we’re going to hang on first quarter corporate earnings and see how the rest of the year goes from there.”
Roschelle attributed part of the decline to a strong U.S. dollar, and a slowing global economy.
"We have European economy slowing, we have China slowing," Roschelle told Cheddar in an interview Monday.
"Our economy is linked to all other global economies, and the U.S. dollar is very very strong because our economy is strong relative to the rest of the world. So the fact that our dollar is strong isn't exactly good for corporate earnings because half of the revenue of the S&P 500 is earned overseas."
Rising wages ー while good for the overall economy ー do not bode well for corporate earnings either, Roschelle added. The first quarter of the year is expected to post a year-over-year drop of 3.9 percent for earnings of S&P 500 companies. That's compared to the 25 percent pop Wall Street witnessed in the previous quarter. It's the first year-over-year decline since the second quarter of 2016.
“To me, it’s a massive wait-and-see how first-quarter earnings turn out.”
For full interview click here.