Saturday, 19 August 2017

Markets fall, US stocks most expensive since 2003

Markets fell on Friday.

The S&P 500 fell 0.2 percent, the STOXX Europe 600 fell 0.7 percent and the Nikkei 225 plunged 1.2 percent.

While US stocks were lower for the week for the second consecutive week, the S&P 500's earnings per share increased 10.8 percent in the second quarter, the first time the index has posted two quarters of double-digit gains since 2011.

However, the US stock market remains expensive. According to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the S&P 500's forward P/E ratio rose to 17.7 in July, its highest level in 13½ years.

Bill Baruch, senior market strategist at iiTrader, said that the market has gotten “a little ahead of itself” while Samuel Rines, chief economist and global macro portfolio manager at Avalon Advisors, said that a rise in interest rates “should lead to multiple contraction”.

Other analysts are unperturbed.

Erin Gibbs, portfolio manager at S&P Global, said that the S&P 500's forward P/E ratio would have to touch about 19 times to appear “peakish”.

In the meantime, BMO's Brian Belski said that “we are now closely monitoring our target models to determine if an upward revision is needed”.

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