Recapping the day's news and newsmakers through the lens of CNBC.
Ever heard of the "pre-announcement ratio?" You're about to, because it's flashing yellow for the stock market.
For every 10 companies warning of lower-than-expected profits for the fourth quarter, less than one says it will beat forecasts. The 10.4-to-one ratio is significantly worse than the previous record of 6.8 in the first quarter of 2001. The long-term average is 2.3 negative warnings for every positive.
While this sounds horrible, Wall Streeters have several reasons for telling themselves it's not as bad as it seems: forecasts have already been cut, CEOs are being hyper-cautious these days, profits will probably grow, and so on.
"This is off the charts, I've never seen it this high."—Gregory Harrison, analyst at Thomson Reuters
"Corporate leaders are very unsure about the outlook. Setting low expectations is the best way to avoid a [profit] disappointment later."—Alan Skrainka, chief investment officer at Cornerstone Wealth Management