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4 earnings trends that could impact your 401(k)

Big U.S. banks will be among the first companies to report how much money they made in the third quarter, kicking off a weather-impacted earnings season this week in which profit growth is expected to slow. Profits at companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index are expected to increase by 4.6% in the July-thru-September quarter, once corporations have finished reporting results, according to earnings-tracker Thomson Reuters. That's a sharp deceleration from the 10%-plus gains in the first two quarters of 2017, which marked the best profit gains in six years.  "It's difficult to keep up the same pace," says Omar Aguilar, chief investment officer, equities, at Charles Schwab.   Most of the third-quarter earnings gains will be dr ...