Corporate America is lowering expectations, according to MarketWatch.


According to John Butters, senior earnings analyst at FactSet, 94 out of the 107 companies on the Standard & Poor's 500 index that have issued an earnings outlook for the fourth quarter have fallen below the Wall Street consensus. That's a negative rate of 88 percent, the most pessimistic reading since FactSet started tracking the data in 2006.


It also marks the seventh quarter in a row that the number of companies issuing negative earnings guidance has risen, Butters said. By his count, the estimated earnings growth rate for the S&P 500 in the fourth quarter is 6.3 percent.


Over at Thomson Reuters, corporate earnings outlooks are at "the most negative guidance sentiment on record," according to analyst Greg Harrison.


By its count, 108 companies have given earnings outlooks that fall below the Wall Street consensus, compared with 11 companies that have given an in-line figure, and 11 companies that have provided an estimate above the consensus. Just taking the negatives and the positives yields a negative forecast rate of nearly 91 percent.
Thomson Reuters expects fourth quarter S&P 500 earnings to grow by 7.6 percent.