The largest decline of earnings on record

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With second-quarter earnings largely in the books (over 99% of S&P 500 companies have reported for Q2 2009), today’s chart provides some long-term perspective to the current earnings environment by focusing on 12-month, as reported S&P 500 earnings. Today’s chart illustrates how earnings declined over 92% since peaking in Q3 2007, which makes it easily the largest decline on record (the data goes back to 1936). On the positive side, S&P 500 earnings have moved off their lows – slightly.

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