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The energy sector has produced lackluster earnings, contributing to overall earnings decline in the S&P 500.

“The Energy sector is also expected to be the largest contributor to the expected earnings decline for the entire S&P 500 for the third quarter,” John Butters, Senior Earnings Analyst for FactSet, said in a note. “If this sector is excluded, the blended (combines actual results for companies that have reported and estimated results for companies yet to report) growth rate for the S&P 500 improves to 3.3% from -0.3%. The third quarter will likely mark the eighth straight quarter that the Energy sector has been the largest detractor to earnings growth for the S&P 500.”

However, Butters anticipates the energy sector will become a positive contributor to earnings growth for the S&P 500 by the first quarter of 2017 due to a combination of higher expected oil prices and easier comparisons to weak earnings in 2016.

For more information on the energy sector, visit our energy category.

Energy Select Sector SPDR