U.S. stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) continued their retreat on for a second day as concerns about banks’ balance sheets and poor first quarter earnings reports overshadowed any sunshine on the markets.

Any ounce of optimism that was left in the first quarter has diminished. Bloomberg analysts suggest that profits have plummeted 37% for all S&P 500 companies, posting the seventh consecutive decline in profits, the longest since the Great Depression, states Rita Nazareth of Bloomberg.

To make it even worse, confidence among U.S. CEOs retreated to the lowest levels in the last seven years because of the belief that government efforts to spark the economy and stem the recession will take longer than expected.

The last nail in the coffin came from legendary financier George Soros. On a positive note, he believes that any danger from a financial system collapse is no longer imminent, however, he suggests that the rebound in equities will not last and the “fallout of the collapse” of the banking system will linger, states Aaron Task of Tech Ticker.

Soros also stated the following: “Instead of providing lifeblood of credit, banks are effectively drawing the lifeblood of activity to profit of themselves.”  As a result of this, the economy will be hindered from producing anything more than a fleeting bounce for the forseeable future, Soros believes.  The Financial Select SPDR ETF (XLF), dropped about 1.4% in intraday trading.

To add to the markets’ demise, investors have speculated that aluminum giant Alcoa (AA), which is expected to announce its first-quarter earnings after the bell, will kick off the season with a loss and start somewhat of a trend. View the rest of the earnings season calendar here.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1.81%, the S&P 500 was down 1.65% and the Nasdaq dropped 1.62% in intraday trading.

Kevin Grewal contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.