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Once a quarter, about halfway through, we take a snapshot of the earnings per share that investors expect to earn in the S&P 500 over the next several quarters. Since our previous snapshot in mid-May 2014, the earnings outlook for investors has eroded somewhat over the last three months:

(click to enlarge)

Through the end of 2014, the level of earnings has dropped to a level between what investors had previously expected back on 15 August 2013 and 14 November 2013, before expectations of higher earnings growth took root in the first quarter of 2014.