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Macroeconomic & Geopolitical

A Tug Of War Between The U.S. Consumer & Everyone Else

4 October 2019 - 4 min read

The three things you need to know this week: Third quarter S&P 500 earnings expectations are in decline, the U.S. slapped new tariffs on EU imports and a new Brexit plan was announced.

Overview

3Q Earnings: FactSet’s Earnings Insights are estimating a -3.7% Y/Y decline in S&P 500 EPS for 3Q19, based on a bottom-up aggregation. This compares to expectations for 3Q19 EPS to decline by 0.6% on June 30. If 3Q19 Y/Y earnings do decline, it will mark the first time Y/Y earnings have dropped for three consecutive quarters since 4Q15–2Q16. All 11 sectors have lower growth rates now versus June due to downward EPS estimates. The largest earnings declines are expected in the Energy (-29.3%), Technology (-10.1%) and Materials (-8.0%) sectors. Looking ahead, analysts are projecting earnings growth of 2.9% and revenue growth of 3.6% for 4Q19.

U.S.-EU Tariffs Coming: After a favorable WTO ruling, the U.S. will impose tariffs on EU products beginning on October 18. The U.S. is expected to add 10% tariff to EU aircraft and 25% tariffs on agricultural and other products. The WTO ruling said the U.S. has the right to apply tariffs on up to $7.5 billion of EU goods annually as part of the Airbus subsidy case.

Brexit Update: U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled a compromise plan on the Irish border issue aimed at averting a no-deal Brexit. Johnson’s proposal includes a regulatory border in the Irish Sea, effectively splitting Northern Ireland from the rest of the U.K. While the plan remains contentious within U.K. and EU government circles, it has been hailed as a step in the right direction. The U.K. is due to leave the EU on October 31 and Johnson has been adamant about not delaying Brexit beyond that date.

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