Bespoke: One-day declines in shares of companies reporting earnings tracks as the worst in 7 years

  • Earnings overall this quarter so far have been "horrible," according to Bespoke Investment Group.
  • Roughly third-quarters of stocks have traded down on their earnings results so far this season, says Bespoke co-founder Paul Hickey.
  • For companies that miss on earnings, revenues or lower guidance, the punishment has been swift, as Caterpillar and 3M found out Tuesday morning.

Earnings season so far is "horrible," and the one-day decline in shares of companies reporting is tracking as the worst since 2011, according to Bespoke Investment Group.

"Ever since mid-September, we've been seeing a trend of companies reporting earnings [and] have been declining in reaction to their news," Bespoke co-founder Paul Hickey said Tuesday on CNBC's "Squawk Box."

Hickey, a former analyst for Birinyi Associates and former trader at Salomon Smith Barney, said roughly third-quarters of stocks have traded down on their earnings results so far this season.

For companies that miss expectations on earnings or revenues, or lower guidance, the punishment has been swift with an average decline of about 5 percent, said Hickey.

That scenario was playing out Tuesday morning, with Dow components Caterpillar and 3M getting slammed, down 9 percent and 7 percent respectively.

The markets fell Monday in part on worries about a deluge of corporate earnings reports coming this week. The S&P 500 has fallen for four sessions in a row and 11 of the past 13 sessions. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq are on pace for their worst month since January 2016.

Hickey said that historically a retest of a sharp sell-off, like the one the market had earlier this month, can set up future gains. However, if the market goes down too much further, it may indicate broader weakness, he added.