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Earnings 'recession' worries could be a drag

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Earnings could be a bigger driver for stocks Tuesday, after IBM's disappointing results reinforced concerns that the corporate profit outlook is getting murkier.

"We're getting deeper into earnings season and not watching any one company, but the cumulative effect," said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery. "Everybody knows this quarter is going to be bad."

Luschini said earnings really do appear to be declining this quarter, as forecast, and he expects the first earnings "recession" since 2009. The S&P 500 companies, when considering actual reports and estimates, are expected to see profits decline by 4.1 percent for the third quarter, according to Thomson Reuters.