The Week Ahead: Prepping for the Worst

Despite some dips last week and renewed headlines over the "fiscal cliff," the overall stock market edged up last week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1%, the S&P 500 climbed 0.5% and the technology-heavy Nasdaq gained 1.5%. Last week also closed the books on November, so we now have one month left to go to close our fourth quarter of 2012.

That means it's time to check in on the consensus expectations for current-quarter operating earnings from S&P 500 companies. Surprisingly, the average consensus figure of $26.50 per share is unchanged over the last 30 days. Over that period, we've experienced Hurricane Sandy, seen a rebound in layoffs and watched more companies cut forward guidance than we have in some time....766 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

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