Wall Street was set to open sharply lower for a second straight day Thursday after China allowed the yuan to fall further and oil prices slid to near 12-year lows.
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Just days into 2016, Wall Street firms from Citigroup Inc. to Royal Bank of Canada have already scaled back bullish calls for American equities this year, while single-stock analysts forecast fourth- quarter profits will shrink by more than 6 percent after predicting an expansion in August.Over three days, more than $2 trillion has been wiped from the value of global equities, volatility in the broadest stock gauges has jumped 13 percent or more, and 8 percent was shed from the price of oil.Another was stress in credit markets.Byron Wien of Blackstone Group LP predicted another down year in the S&P 500 this week, citing peak earnings hurt by margin pressure and a contraction in share-price multiples, which at 23 times reported earnings are 30 percent above the average since 1936 .Analysts see profits for S&P 500 companies dropping 6.1 percent in the fourth quarter just one week before the start of the earnings season.
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