Four Things You Better Worry About This Earnings Season

S&P 500 companies are expected to post lower earnings for the fourth straight quarter

by Ciara Linnane
Market Watch

If you thought the fourth-quarter earnings season that just ended was miserable, brace yourself: the next one will be a real doozy.

S&P 500 companies are expected to post their fourth straight quarter of earnings declines and fifth straight quarter of sales declines, according to FactSet. The last time earnings fell for such a long stretch was the period between the fourth quarter of 2008 and the third quarter of 2009, right after the financial crisis.

And stop blaming energy. This time, the pain is more evenly spread across sectors.

“While much of the softness is attributable to the energy sector, it is worth noting only three of the S&P’s 10 macro sectors are expected to show an increase in earnings,” said Jeffrey Saut, chief investment strategist at Wells Fargo. “ Those are consumer discretionary, telecoms and health care.”

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