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Investors have read everywhere that third quarter earnings growth for the S&P 500 was negative. But not too much attention has been paid to revenue growth. Below we highlight both earnings and sales growth for the S&P 500 and its 10 major sectors in the third quarter.

While three sectors (Financials, Consumer Discretionary and Energy) had negative year over year earnings growth in Q3, none of them had negative year over year revenue growth. While the Consumer Staples sector ranked 6th out of 10 for earnings growth, it ranked second for revenue growth behind Telecom. Technology ranked 3rd with an 11.3% increase in sales, followed by Industrials, Materials and Health Care.

Overall, the S&P 500 saw year over year earnings decline by 2.5% from Q3 '06, but its revenues grew by 7.4%.

Source: Revenue Growth by Sector in Q3