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Over the past three months, expectations have become increasingly negative. Analysts now expect the upcoming earnings season to reveal a fourth consecutive quarterly decline in income, the first time that this has happened since the financial crisis.
FactSet expects profits at S&P 500 companies to have fallen by 8.5% from the previous quarter, a remarkable drop from the 0.8% growth in earnings that had been forecast at the start of the year. Reuters is even more negative, with the overall drop for each sector shown below: