Chart of the Day provides this job dropping perspective on the current earnings environment: 12-month S&P 500 earnings, relative to the peak in Q3 2007.
With 38% of S&P 500 companies reporting Q2 2009 numbers, on a real basis, earnings have declined over 98%.
This is the largest decline on record going back to 1936.
The folks at Chart of the Day note that if current estimates hold — and that’s a big “if,” as they are most likely too low — then Q3 2009 will see the first 12-month period during which S&P 500 earnings are negative.
Inflation Adjusted S&P500 Earnings
via Chart of the Day