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Chart of the Day
With second-quarter earnings largely in the books (99% of S&P 500 companies have reported for Q2 2011), today's chart provides some long-term perspective to the current earnings environment by focusing on 12-month, as reported S&P 500 earnings. Today's chart illustrates how earnings declined over 92% from its Q3 2007 peak to Q1 2009 low which brought inflation-adjusted earnings to near Great Depression lows. Since its Q1 2009 low, S&P 500 earnings have surged (up over 1000%) and currently come in at a level that is greater than what occurred at the peak of the dot-com bubble and very near what occurred at the peak of the credit bubble. It is interesting to note that the original run up in real earnings from Great Depression lows to credit bubble highs took over 78 years. The current spike has taken 26 months.

Notes:
- Will the Dow crash? The answer may surprise you. Find out right now with the exclusive & Barron's recommended charts of Chart of the Day Plus.

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Quote of the Day
"Managers that always promise to 'make the numbers' will at some point be tempted to make up the numbers." - Warren Buffett

Events of the Day
September 23, 2011 - First Day of Autumn (Northern Hemisphere)

Stocks of the Day
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