Concerns over rising interest rates and geopolitical uncertainty kept retail investors out of the market in the second quarter, and no one paid more dearly for that than online brokers.

But some investors are starting to ask whether all the bad news has already been priced into the shares.

There's little doubt that Ameritrade ( AMTD), E*Trade ( ET) and Charles Schwab ( SCH) will report sequential declines in profit growth next week.

Ameritrade, which is due to report fiscal third-quarter results on Tuesday, has warned that earnings would come in at, or near the low end of its guidance range of 14 cents to 22 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call are now forecasting a 15-cent profit compared with 19 cents in the first quarter and 12 cents last year.

Schwab CEO David Pottruck also has tempered analysts' expectations, saying that "client engagement has weakened" and that it will be hard to improve year-over-year earnings in the second quarter. Analysts said the company's decision to slash commission prices in May also hurt results. Schwab, which will report earnings at "mid-month," is expected to earn 9 cents a share, down from 12 cents in the first quarter and flat with last year.

As for E*Trade, earnings are expected to be slightly less volatile due to the company's bank and mortgage operations, but analysts are still forecasting a 17% sequential profit decline. Thomson First Call projects that the firm will earn 19 cents a share on Tuesday compared with 23 cents in the first quarter and 14 cents last year.

"While we typically anticipate a seasonal summer slowdown in retail trading, we were somewhat surprised by the early timing and magnitude of May's decline in daily average revenue trades," said J.P. Morgan analyst William Tanona.

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