Profit warnings: who’s swimming against the tide?

Profit warnings are a measure of performance against expectation. So, given the overall upside surprise in 2016, it’s not surprising that the annual figure was the lowest for three years. But our data also tells a story of a growing gap between winners and losers. What’s creating such a great divergence, will it last and what does it mean for corporate prospects and forecasting in 2017?

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Animal spirits trump uncertainty

We said it wouldn’t be a quiet year! This week we’re focusing on two phenomena: what looks set to be a record January for global M&A – surpassing even 2007 – and record equity market performances in the wake of the Dow going through 20K. The dollar looks “interesting” too. As do high-yield bonds – even energy ones. So much for uncertainty damping activity. I keep hearing about “animal spirits” driving this – but is it sustainable?

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And to come in 2017?

Making predictions is always daunting – this year more than most. Nevertheless, we’re going to look beyond current uncertainties to identify trends that will influence the Capital Agenda in 2017. One easy prediction: it won’t be quiet. Beyond that, almost anything seems possible.  Last year’s overturning of decades of consensus was truly extraordinary; but, we only saw glimpses of what might replace it. This is where 2017 gets interesting.

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What happened in 2016?

How do we even start to sum up 2016 on in one blog?  Great tomes will surely be written about a year in which so many orthodoxies were overturned and paradigms shifted. But we’re going to give it our best shot by picking what we think are five standout moments– i.e. those we think best epitomise a tumultuous year in capital markets. Or not all that tumultuous, considering….

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Snakes in a drain: a new era for oil?

The OPEC deal announced last week helped to propel the price of a barrel of Brent Crude over the $50 mark,  the highest for well over a year and almost double its January low. But prices have stalled since, underlining our view that this isn’t a one way ticket. So where next for oil?

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Do record highs signal investor confidence?

I don’t know about you, but I’m finding it increasingly hard to predict where markets will go next. I understand the logic behind the recent rise in equities – but not the certainty with which it’s being applied. We don’t know for sure what BREXIT or a Trump presidency means. So, I wondered…does this rally really signal confidence? Time to look under the hood…

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