Corporate profits are in for another brutal quarter, and it's not just the usual suspects dragging down everyone else.
S&P 500 earnings are expected to decline about 5 percent, depending on whose estimates you use, marking the third consecutive quarterly decline in what clearly has become a profits recession. If the trend holds up, it would be the longest stretch of earnings declines since the Great Recession was churning to an end in 2009, according to FactSet.
For most of 2015, the earnings struggles were dismissed with relative ease, chalked up to a temporary slump in energy prices that by and large was not infecting the broader economy or corporate structure.
However, that's beginning to change, and in a rather ominous way.
The earnings carnage is spreading from energy into other industries, with 6 of the 10 S&P 500 sectors projected to post negative year-over-year profit growth, according to S&P Capital IQ. While energy will still lead the decline with a nasty 68 percent drop, the materials group also is catching up, with a 24 percent estimated drop. Even without energy, profits would be up just 0.6 percent: