FactSet Insight: Merger Announcements Slow as Corporate Cash Builds
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A recent Bank of America fund manager survey revealed that investors increasingly want firms to improve their balance sheets. This isn’t surprising given that the economic backdrop grows more uncertain each week. While June’s U.S. employment picture and retail sales data were encouraging, inflation remains hot and regional economic activity reports suggest some spots are struggling.
The second-quarter earnings season is now in full swing. The big banks issued mixed results, but stock price reactions were actually quite good. As other sectors began to report, anxiety about lower-than-expected profits and guidance cuts were somewhat relieved as the S&P 500 managed to rise above its 50-day moving average for the first time since April. There are some rays of hope in this gloomy environment for consumers and businesses.