When it comes to company earnings estimates, analysts tend to be optimistic. The U.S. is probably in the midst of a recession, spurred by the credit crunch, yet analysts' earnings estimates for 2008 are very rosy indeed — not a single sector is expected to experience a down year. Below, consensus earnings growth estimates for 2008, versus earnings growth in 2001.

Industry Sector (S&P 500) Recent 2008 S&P 500 Estimates (Bottoms Up Operating Earnings) Reported S&P Earnings During the 2001 recession
Consumer Discretionary 17.1% -57%
Consumer Staples 20 1.0
Energy 14 21
Financials 25.6 -15
Health Care 14.1 -5
Industrials 7.2 -14
Information Technology 18.6 -184
Materials 3.2 -79
Telecommunication Services 34.5 -91
Utilities 11.6 -2
Source: The Leuthold Group