By the end of next year, corporate earnings may have recovered from the anticipated pandemic-induced slump — at least if analysts are right.

What's going on: EPS forecasts for this year have plunged to $128 per share from the $161 expected before the pandemic hit, according to FactSet.

Within the last month, earnings expectations for next year have remained steady. Meantime, expectations for 2o22 have actually edged higher within that same time period.

  • Projections for both are still way below where they were at the beginning of 2020 when it looked as though the economy would continue to hum along.

The bottom line: Prospects of a V-shaped recovery are all but dead — except (so far) in the eyes of analysts projecting S&P 500 EPS.

  • “Analysts are expecting a ‘V’ shaped recovery in corporate earnings, and Q2 is supposed to be the nadir,” Nicholas Colas, co-founder of DataTrek Research, said in a note this week.

Go deeper: Corporate debt issuance has already topped $1 trillion in 2020

Go deeper

Shale's struggles will persist despite a rise in oil prices

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

WTI, the benchmark U.S. oil future, traded Wednesday morning at its highest since early March — highlighting how the worst of shale's crisis is seemingly over, though more bankruptcies likely lie ahead.

Why it matters: Its price at the time — $43 — is still too low for many producers to do well, though it varies from company to company.

How small businesses got stiffed by the coronavirus pandemic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The story of American businesses in the coronavirus pandemic is a tale of two markets — one made up of tech firms and online retailers as winners awash in capital, and another of brick-and-mortar mom-and-pop shops that is collapsing.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic has created an environment where losing industries like traditional retail and hospitality as well as a sizable portion of firms owned by women, immigrants and people of color are wiped out and may be gone for good.

Apple's antitrust fight turns Epic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Millions of angry gamers may soon join the chorus of voices calling for an antitrust crackdown on Apple, as the iPhone giant faces a new lawsuit and PR blitz from Epic Games, maker of mega-hit Fortnite.

Why it matters: Apple is one of several Big Tech firms accused of violating the spirit, if not the letter, of antitrust law. A high-profile lawsuit could become a roadmap for either building a case against tech titans under existing antitrust laws or writing new ones better suited to the digital economy.