As earnings season takes the spotlight for markets, investors will anxiously await the reports of some of the most important global firms over the coming trading days. Thus far, earnings have been a mixed bag with a number of companies both hitting and missing their marks. Big names like General Eelctric and Google fell short, while others like Bank of America and Wells Fargo were able to beat the Street and inspire some investor confidence. Now that the majority of leading financial institutions have reported, this week will focus on companies from other sectors. Today will see the report from the biggest name in the tech segment, Apple (AAPL) [see also 12 High-Yielding Commodities For 2012].
Apple is perhaps the most popular brand in the nation, with a number of innovative products that have gobbled up the consumer market. As for its stock, AAPL is in close competition with Exxon Mobil for the largest company by market capitalization, with over $396 billion in total assets. With its price soaring over the past few years, this stock as accumulated an average daily volume of roughly 12.7 million, and has quickly become an investor favorite. After the recent death of Steve Jobs, many speculated as to what the future holds for this bellwether and if it will be able to remain as prolific without its trusted leader at the helm [see also ETFs: The $10 Billion Club].
Up until their most recent earnings statement, the company had been well-known for crushing analyst estimates. But last quarter’s report saw an EPS miss of approximately 4.6%, a rare blip on an otherwise flawless earnings record. Still, investors are on the edge of their seats given that firm is now under the direction of Tim Cook rather than Jobs. Experts are calling for the company to announce EPS of $10.07 with massive revenues of $38.8 billion. The lofty predictions are likely due to the holiday shopping season where many hope that Apple was able to turn a healthy profit. Though this report used to be a no-brainer, it seems that Apple’s earnings are now just as uncertain as the next company [see also The 10 Most Actively Traded ETFs In The World].
With this major earnings announcement on tap, today’s ETF to watch will be the QQQ Fund (QQQ). This ETF includes 100 of the largest domestic and international nonfinancial companies listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market based on market capitalization. QQQ has a massive $29 billion in assets and has long been a powerful tool for investors to make a play on the Nasdaq. With Apple accounting for over 14% of the ETF as its top holding, look for this report to have a significant impact on how QQQ trades for the remainder of the week [see also Checking In: Top 5 Equity ETFs Of 2010].