Sales stumbles raise fresh worry for corporate AmericaSubmitted by emalvini on Wed, 10/17/2012 - 22:19
Sales stumbles raise fresh worry for corporate America
By Scott Malone
BOSTON | Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:44pm EDT
(Reuters) - A flagging world economy took a toll on much of Corporate America in the third quarter, leading the likes of eBay Inc, American Express, IBM and Textron Inc to miss Wall Street's sales targets or warn that spending was slowing into the holidays.
Those misses sparked concerns among investors that corporate America's year-long streak of profit growth could be nearing an end as CEOs run out of costs to cut and customers are increasingly wary about spending.
A major worry is the risk of the year-end fiscal cliff - $600 billion of spending cuts and higher taxes that could take effect at the end of the year if lawmakers in Washington fail to agree on a plan to shrink the federal deficit.
A majority - 54.3 percent - of the 70 companies in the widely watched Standard & Poor's 500 Index that have reported results so far have missed analysts' revenue forecasts, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.