Analysts‘ estimates for company earnings are typically somewhat too optimistic at the start of the year, and tend to be lowered in light of incoming information, as demonstrated here for the Euro Stoxx 50. Usually, most of the earnings downgrades happen during the early months, and estimates stabilize around midyear. In 2016, this pattern was particularly pronounced, with analysts cutting their forecasts basically from the first days of January onwards. This contributed massively to the dismal start into the year. In 2017, however, earnings estimates have even been upgraded, supporting the recent rise in stock prices.
Source: Bloomberg Finance L.P., Deutsche Asset Management Investment GmbH; as of 2/23/17