Wall Street Journal (02/11/13) Scott Thurm
Despite gains in fourth-quarter earnings, many U.S. executives are worried about the global economy and are lowering financial forecasts. FactSet Research says 63 companies on the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index have reduced first-quarter earnings forecasts, compared to 17 firms that have raised them. Executives cite shrinking European economies and the impact of ongoing Washington gridlock on consumer spending. According to a survey of 50 S&P companies by the Wall Street Journal, firms will boost investment by 2% this year, down from 8% during the first nine months of 2012 and 20% in 2011.