Profits in the first quarter are now expected to decline as company outlooks fall short

- Wall Street expectations for earnings growth for the first quarter of 2019 have turned negative, which would mark the first decline in more than two years, according to FactSet.
- Wall Street analysts now expect S&P 500 companies to report an average 0.8 percent decline in first-quarter profits, according to FactSet.

- At the end of September, analysts expected first-quarter profits to increase by 6.7 percent, on average.

- Six of the 11 sectors are expected to report a decrease in earnings for the first quarter, with the information technology sector projected to decline the most by 8.9 percent, the data show.