Fourth Quarter Company Revenue Gains Are a Mirage

Part of the market run up between Labor Day and mid-January was based on the belief that corporate revenue and earnings would increase in the fourth quarter of 2009. At first blush, they have, but only at first blush. A study by Reuters shows that corporate sales among the S&P 500 companies are up only 2% based on numbers release so far when the financial sector is taken out of the figures. With financial firms added in, the improvement is 7%.