Samsung Group

Profit pessimism rivals crisis days as stocks support erodes

LONDON _ Any hopes that investors had of earnings growth salvaging what is poised to be the first down year for stocks worldwide since 2011 are quickly fading. Cuts to profit estimates outnumber increases by the most in three years, and the pessimism could reach levels last seen during the financial crisis, based on an index tracking the changes compiled by Citigroup Inc. China's slowdown, a fragile recovery in Europe, and disappointing U.S. economic reports are combining to jeopardize one of the key drivers of a bull market that saw stocks rise as much as 156 percent since 2009. "Fundamentals aren't great anywhere," said Peter Dixon, a global equities economist at...