March 18, 2020 / 5:50 PM / in 10 days

S&P 500 earnings expected to decline 0.2% in first quarter from year earlier

NEW YORK, March 18 (Reuters) - S&P 500 companies’ earnings are expected to decline in the first quarter from the year-earlier period, reversing a forecast for profit gains, according to IBES data from Refinitiv, as companies face the toll from the coronavirus outbreak.

As of Wednesday, analysts were forecasting a 0.2% year-over-year fall in earnings for the S&P 500 for the quarter. That is down sharply from a Jan. 1 forecast for 6.3% growth, based on Refinitiv’s data. (Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch Editing by Chris Reese)

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