Market Preview: All About Apple
And the scenario Stovall is leaning toward is that investors counting on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to come through with another round of quantitative easing may have longer to wait than they think. He argues against the idea that the latest the central bank would act is probably around its Sept. 12-13 policy meeting because to do so later than that would "run the risk of being painted by the political-collusion brush."
Stovall said history shows the Fed has a track record for acting late in a presidential election years, lowering and raising interest rates numerous times in the cycles since 1976. He's expecting Bernanke & Co. to hold off on QE3 as long as they can, putting some pressure on the legislative branch.
"S&P Capital IQ believes the Fed probably has one meaningful action left, in the form of QE3, and will likely wait until forced to use its last option, possibly later in the year should Washington show no further progress toward resolving the Fiscal Cliff dilemma," he said. "Even then, we don't see QE3 being effective enough to offset the recession-inducing impact of forced tax increases and expenditure reductions. Also, we think the market's resulting euphoria following the announcement of QE3 will likely fade if it is not accompanied by clarity on the fate of our tax and regulatory policies."
Not exactly a rosy outlook. And that was prior to Monday's ugliness. Like investors, Stovall seems to getting impatient waiting for the people in charge to act.
"We believe that the near-term direction remains upward, as investors expect additional stimuli from global central bankers to arrest the slowdown in economic and profit growth," he said. "Yet until leaders show a willingness to fight economic challenges, rather than rivals, the advance is likely to be limited."
As for Tuesday's scheduled news, it's all about Apple(AAPL) . The beloved gadget maker delivers its much-anticipated quarterly report after the closing bell and if any one company has the ability to salve market sentiment, this is the one. The average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters is for earnings of $10.36 a share from Apple in its fiscal third quarter ended in June on revenue of $37.23 billion.
This is an in-between quarter for Apple with the product cycle experiencing a lull ahead of the anticipated release of the iPhone 5 later this year. Right now, the company has more rumored products in the pipeline -- think mini iPad, Apple TV -- than it does actual confirmed ones for investors to look forward to (a Mac refresh).