With more than half of the companies on the S&P 500 having reported earnings, the consensus estimate for fourth-quarter earnings is down just 0.1% from three weeks ago. That's well above the 1.3% average decline for the past five years, excluding 2018, which was boosted significantly by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

By the numbers: So far, 22% of S&P companies have revised first-quarter profit targets higher, the highest percentage since Q2 2018 and third-highest since 2012, Bloomberg data show.

  • And, Bloomberg notes, "sell-side EPS estimate revisions are tracking at 47%, an improvement from readings in the 30%-range this time last year."

Yes, but: The coronavirus outbreak may lower 2020 earnings, Lori Calvasina, head of U.S. equity strategy at RBC Capital Markets, told Bloomberg. She expects downside effects from the virus could pull growth figures down by about 4%.

Go deeper: The 5 biggest U.S. stocks account for almost 18% of the S&P 500's market value

Go deeper

4 mins ago - Technology

Big Tech's Hong Kong bind

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Big Tech companies are scrambling to figure out what China's imposition of a new national security law in Hong Kong means for their businesses there.

The big picture: Tech companies, like other multinationals, had long seen bases in Hong Kong as a way to operate close to China without being subject to many of that country's most stringent laws. Now they likely must choose between accepting onerous data-sharing and censorship requirements, or leaving Hong Kong.

2020 could decide fate of Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Two new court actions — one by the Supreme Court and another by a federal judge — together highlight and raise the energy stakes of November's election.

Why it matters: The legal actions mean the results of the 2020 election could very well decide the fate of Keystone XL and Dakota Access, two projects at the heart of battles over fossil fuel infrastructure.

Updated 39 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 11,648,268 — Total deaths: 538,828 — Total recoveries — 6,328,930Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 2,938,750 — Total deaths: 130,310 — Total recoveries: 924,148 — Total tested: 36,032,329Map.
  3. Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index: Our response is becoming more polarized.
  4. Business: Rising cases pause U.S. economic recovery — Hospitals, doctors are major recipients of PPP loans.