According to Thomson Reuters' StarMine, industry analysts have cut their forecasts for Morgan Stanley's results by more than 73 per cent in the past month.
Meanwhile, consensus estimates for Goldman Sachs have dropped by over a quarter, leading to the lowest quarterly expectations for the bank's earnings per share since November 2008, reports the Financial Times.
Brad Hintz of Bernstein's Research said: "Anxiety stemming from a waning economic recovery and uncertainty over the mid-term elections left clients paralysed and trading desks fell silent during the quarter."
Last month, a similar forecast was made by Richard Staite, an analyst with Atlantic Equities, who said the third quarter of the year was shaping up to be a "very slow period for client activity" across the majority of markets.
He stated that performance in July and August was particularly disappointing and September looked unlikely to be much of an improvement.
By Gary Cooper