For the fourth quarter, the S&P 500 is reporting a year-over-year decline in earnings of -2.1%, but year-over-year growth in revenues of 2.7%. Given the dichotomy in growth between earnings and revenues, there are concerns in the market about net profit margins for S&P 500 companies in the fourth quarter. Given this concern, what is the S&P 500 reporting for a net profit margin in the fourth quarter?
The blended net profit margin for the S&P 500 for Q4 2019 is 10.7%. If 10.7% is the actual net profit margin for the quarter, it will mark the first time the index has reported four straight quarters of year-over-year declines in net profit margin since Q4 2008 through Q3 2009. Eight of the 11 sectors are reporting a year-over-year decline in their net profit margins in Q4 2019, led by the Energy (4.7% vs. 7.4%), Information Technology (21.4% vs. 22.7%), and Consumer Discretionary (5.9% vs. 7.0%) sectors.
What is driving the year-over-year decrease in the net profit margin?