Below is a chart highlighting the change in S&P 500 Q4 earnings growth estimates (YoY) since the fourth quarter began. As shown, growth estimates have been continuously trickling lower. On September 30th, the bottoms up estimate (from Bloomberg) for S&P 500 earnings growth stood at 14.1%. As of yesterday, the estimate had dipped to 6.2%. While this trend lower in earnings estimates can be viewed as a negative, it also opens up the door for companies to beat expectations at a higher clip.
For those interested, below are the current Q4 YoY earnings growth estimates for the ten S&P 500 sectors. As shown, Energy has the strongest reading at 21%, followed by Industrials at 7.6% and Technology at 6.6%. Telecom, Materials, and Utilities are the three sectors that are projected to see earnings decline in Q4 2011 versus Q4 2010.
Subscribe to Bespoke Premium and gain access to our 2012 outlook piece -- The Bespoke Report -- when it is released in January.