Company Earnings are Running Out of Gas

It’s now been more than a year since crude oil began its vertigo-inducing plunge. Yet S&P 500 Index earnings continue to remind one of the classic joke that references the assassination of America’s 16th president: “Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?”

Based on a mix between the reported earnings and the expectations for those results yet to released, S&P 500 companies are currently slated to report a 2.2 percent drop in earnings for the second quarter, according to FactSet. That would represent the first earnings decline since the third quarter of 2012.

Of course, that earnings growth number is likely to rise further as more companies unveil results—and could wind up in positive territory by the time all the earnings are out—given that companies tend to beat.