by Patrick O’Hare
The first quarter earnings reporting period is nearly complete with over 90% of the S&P 500 having reported results for the March quarter. What we have learned to this point is that the first quarter earnings decline was not as bad as expected. Still, the first quarter reporting period can’t really be thought of as being good either.
According to S&P Capital IQ, aggregate S&P 500 earnings per share (EPS) are estimated to be down 6.0% year-over-year in the first quarter. When we published our earnings preview on April 8, it was thought first quarter EPS would be down 7.9%.