Poor corporate earnings could be an early warning single that a recession is on the way, said Jeff Buchbinder, market strategist for the research arm of LPL Financial, on Monday.

If the recent string of three poor quarters of poor corporate earnings are followed by a more meaningful drop, it “would almost certainly” signal a recession, he said.

He noted, however, there were times in the late 1960s, mid-1980s and 1998 when downward earnings were not accompanied by an overall decline in the economy.

“There were a few times when the earnings drop was marginal and an economic recession was averted,” he said in a research note.