Standard & Poor's delivered an updated report card for S&P 500 earnings in the second quarter, and the results are ugly, if not entirely surprising.
For the fourth consecutive quarter, earnings growth was negative. With 96 per cent of the companies reporting, year-over-year operating earnings fell 29 per cent and reported earnings per share fell 39 per cent.
This is mostly a story about money-losing financials, though. Knock out the 88 financial stocks from the operating earnings, and S&P 500 earnings actually rose 3.2 per cent. In the first quarter, ignoring financials turned a 25.8 per cent drop in year-over-year operating earnings into an 8.9 per cent gain.