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Wall Street Sets Low Bar for Corporate Earnings Season

Analysts expect companies in the S&P 500 to report their first year-over-year decline in quarterly earnings since the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, according to FactSet. Fourth-quarter profits are projected to have dropped 4.1%, a sharp reversal from the more than 31% growth logged a year earlier.

“We expect continued layoff announcements, probably spreading beyond the tech sector,” said Scott Duba, chief investment officer at Prime Capital Investment Advisors.

Mr. Duba said his firm is planning to use any volatility in markets during earnings season to look for buying opportunities. Prime Capital has been overweight in traditionally defensive sectors like healthcare, consumer staples and utilities, and is thinking about adding to 3/4 positions in more growth-focused segments like tech, he said.

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