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Fourth Quarter Earnings Season Halftime Report

Highlights:

- The biggest concerns this quarter remain the stronger dollar, global weakness and lower oil prices.

- The S&P 500 currently has a blended earnings growth rate of 6.6% and revenue growth of 2.0%.

- Health Care leads earnings and revenue growth for Q4, growing 23.7% and 10.3%, respectively. Again this season, growth is mostly within Biotech, due to Gilead Sciences (GILD) and the strength of their Hep C drugs, Sovaldi and Harvoni.

- Information Technology is currently anticipated to post the second highest numbers, with profit growth of 17.4% and sales up 8.6%. The sector's leading growth are the semiconductors and electronic equipment; however, the big standout this season is Apple (AAPL). Without Apple, overall S&P 500 earnings growth drops to 3.5% from 6.6%. Standouts in each industry this season have been Microsoft (MSFT) and Facebook (FB).

- Lagging on EPS for Q4 is Energy, of course… Read More …