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Earnings Season Flop Leaves a Short List of Stock Market Saviors

  • The S&P 500 has only closed higher five times in October
  • Investors look for catalyst as earnings, data provide no lift
Deutsche Boerse To Acquire NYSE Euronext To Create Largest Exchange Owner

Photographer: Jin Lee/Bloomberg

Surging profits, a humming economy, lower Treasury rates. The things that used to rev up the stock market are no longer able to get its motor running.

Suddenly it seems like everything is a headwind. The Federal Reserve is raising rates. Cost pressures are percolating. Valuations are under siege and a decade-long bull market is at stake. Rather than provide comfort, earnings have become a source of anxiety, with next year’s estimates falling for the first time this year.