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Ahead of Wall Street

October 16, 2013

Mark Vickery here, covering for Sheraz Mian, who has the day off.

House Republicans on Tuesday couldn't organize to pass their own resolution, and the stock market tanked immediately upon the news. Senators on both sides of the aisle put down their double-bourbons and rejoined to carve out a new solution. If a debt ceiling agreement isn't reached by Thursday, the United States of America will default on its financial obligations, which would be majorly detrimental to the global economy.

…And -- oh yeah -- earnings season is hitting full throttle this week. Forgive us for our oversight.

Yahoo (YHOO - Analyst Report) and Intel (INTC - Analyst Report) reported pretty much in-line with expectations yesterday after the bell. Intel, though it performed admirably with gross margin growth, continues to struggle with a sinking PC market. Yahoo posted a slight beat but guidance was a bit lackluster. Ultimately, though, the big windfall for Yahoo will be if/when an Alibaba IPO takes place, which was not articulated much on yesterday's conference call.

Twitter has announced it will finally be publicly traded as of mid-November, under ticker symbol TWTR. This will add even more competition to the business space where Yahoo currently fights for market share.

After the bell today we'll see results from IBM (IBM - Analyst Report) and eBay (EBAY - Analyst Report) . In fact, so many tech firms -- not to mention financial firms -- are reporting this week that we'll have a pretty decent idea of how Q3 earnings are beginning to shape up by Friday. Thus far, we've seen no major unexpected calamities, but no big blowout numbers either. Then again, we've yet to get to the heart of the lineup this season -- your Facebooks (FB - Analyst Report) , your Netflixes (NFLX - Analyst Report) -- so there's plenty yet to come.

Abbott Labs (ABT - Analyst Report) posted an earnings beat before the market open today, and announced a raise in quarterly dividend. Bank of America (BAC - Analyst Report) performed close to expectations for its Q3 earnings this morning, as well.

Aside from getting an initial handle on earnings this season by the end of the week, we also hope this Beltway nonsense will be a thing of the past. Otherwise, we might expect this cloud to cast a big shadow over everything until some grown-ups decide to step in.

Mark Vickery
Senior Editor