Just as earnings and revenue beat rates have dipped a bit this quarter, our guidance spread has also dipped.  Below is a chart showing the spread between the percentage of companies raising guidance minus lowering guidance each quarter going back to 2001.  This season, the guidance spread stands at +2 percentage points, so more companies are raising guidance than lowering guidance.  As you can see in the chart, though, the spread is lower this season than it has been in the prior four quarters, indicating that companies aren’t quite as optimistic now as they’ve been at prior points over the last year.

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