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Stockwatch: Fragile markets break earnings season hearts

This article was originally published in Scrip

Executive Summary

Last week was horrible. Dramatic falls in stock markets for any reason real or imagined will usually take a dent out of the valuations of even the most defensive of healthcare companies. That was happening last week until Friday when central bankers on both side of the Atlantic temporarily soothed nerves by suggesting that quantitative easing may not stop (or may start for those in the Eurozone), and interest rates won't rise, at least in the near future. If that wasn't enough, one branch of the US government has unilaterally started to invite inverting company CEOs down to the damp basements of Federal buildings to sit under strong lights until they are persuaded to call off their M&A transactions (, 16 October 2014). The only hope for investors was a set of good financial reports from the biggest companies in order to head off the flight away from risky assets.

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