Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!
Reproduced from FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Equity analysts raised their earnings estimates for companies in the S&P 500 by 2.3% during the fourth quarter, to $36.93 from $36.10, as optimism continues to rise.

What it means: Q4 was the second straight quarter in which Wall Street analysts have raised their earnings expectations, a reversal of the typical trend.

The big picture: Q4 was just the fourth quarter since Q4 2010 in which EPS estimates have increased during the quarter.

By the numbers: "During the past five years, the average decline in the bottom-up EPS estimate during a quarter has been 4.5%," FactSet senior earnings analyst John Butters points out in a note to clients.

  • "During the past ten years (40 quarters), the average decline in the bottom-up EPS estimate during a quarter has been 4.2%. During the past fifteen years (60 quarters), the average decline in the bottom-up EPS estimate during a quarter has been 5.2%."

Yes, but: "[I]t should be noted that analysts made substantial cuts to EPS estimates for Q4 during the second and third quarters (March 31 to September 30). During this period, the Q4 bottom-up EPS estimate declined by 17.4% (to 36.10 from $43.73)."

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Jan 19, 2021 - Economy & Business

Unemployment data shows worrisome trends

Data: U.S. Department of Labor; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than a million people filed for traditional unemployment benefits last week for the first time since July, further highlighting the impact the resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic is having on the U.S. economy.

By the numbers: Including those who filed for benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, more than 1.4 million Americans filed claims last week, an increase of more than 231,000 filing traditional claims and more than 123,000 filing for PUA support from the previous week, according to the unadjusted data.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
43 mins ago - Economy & Business

Scoop: Red Sox strike out on deal to go public

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The parent company of the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool F.C. has ended talks to sell a minority ownership stake to RedBall Acquisition, a SPAC formed by longtime baseball executive Billy Beane and investor Gerry Cardinale, Axios has learned from multiple sources. An alternative investment, structured more like private equity, remains possible.

Why it matters: Red Sox fans won't be able to buy stock in the team any time soon.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!