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By the Numbers

Most companies guiding lower in at least 7 years

James Brey | E+ | Getty Images

As Wall Street deals with the effects of the U.S. government shutdown, investors are also bracing for another hectic earnings season set to begin this month.

Preliminary guidance for third-quarter results provides little case for optimism. For Q3 2013, only 18 companies have issued positive EPS guidance, whereas 94 companies have issued negative guidance—the highest number since at least 2006, according to figures compiled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.