Amid recent indications of a weakening global economy, many analysts are painting a sobering picture of the new earnings season.
For instance, Jeffrey Sica, manager of SICA Wealth Management -- who warns of "the false sense of security created by the notion of a central bank controlled stock market," says he expects "very negative sentiment from companies in appraising their futures."
"The oversimplification of the percentage of companies which meet or exceed EPS will be deceptive," he said. "It is only in future growth that current valuations could be justified ... the negative economic cross currents will undermine the vast majority of S&P companies' ability to grow."
Meanwhile Sica expects banks to report earnings per share which are near or slightly lower than expectations, which will "be no cause of celebration" since banks have "mastered the art of deception" when it comes to earnings per share.
The FTSE in London settled down 0.89% and the DAX in Germany finished lower by 0.46% as global slowdown concerns flooded the markets and overshadowed better-than-expected eurozone industrial production data for May, which had risen.
August crude oil futures rebounded late in the day, settling up 27 cents at $86.08 a barrel. August gold futures lost $10.40 to settle at $1565.30.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury rose 10/32, dropping the yield back to historic lows at 1.478%, while the greenback was up 0.17%, according to the
In corporate news, shares of
fell 49.15% to $2.69 after the Minneapolis-based grocery store operator reported a below-consensus quarterly profit, suspended its dividend and said it's conducting a review of its strategic options.
The company, which is seeking to reduce its debt load by between $450 million and $500 million in fiscal 2013, posted a profit of $41 million, or 19 cents a share, for its fiscal first quarter on sales of $10.6 billion. The average estimate of analysts polled by
was for earnings of 38 cents a share on sales of $10.8 billion.
said late Wednesday it's cutting 12% of its global workforce as part of an effort to generate gross annual savings of $52 million. Shares fell 3.53% to $5.46.