This U.S. earnings season is on track to be the worst since 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. With about three-quarters of the companies in the S&P 500 having reported results, profits are down 3.1 percent - the biggest quarterly drop in earnings since the third quarter 2009, and the second straight quarter of profit declines.
Not surprisingly, the biggest casualty is the energy sector, which is still dealing with sagging oil prices. That sector has endured a 54 percent drop in quarterly earnings so far this quarter. With the global drop in commodity prices, profits in the materials sector are down 15 percent.
The top-performing sector this quarter has been telecom services, which has seen earnings growth of 23 percent. Consumer discretionary isn't far behind, at 19 percent.