Fedex, Sony, Texas Instruments, Samsung, Tribune Companies and others bring in the new week by issuing worse-than-expected news on earnings and forward-looking guidance for such.
The "worse-than-expected" tag is can be a bit of a misnomer at junctures like this. Companies that miss analyst estimates for November/December quarters are not necessarily seeing their stocks fall, as investor expectations have gotten lower than estimates for the current period in many cases. Nor is anyone shocked if companies lower their outlook for 2009.
The challenge if the market is going to avoid making new lows is to get investor expectations, company expectations and 2009 estimates to a level where we don't need another round of big negative shocks. It may be impossible to get there without more information and time.