May 25th Weekly Market Update
Last week in a tribute to David Letterman’s last Late Show, we highlighted our top 10 keys for stocks. But there was one notable omission: earnings. With the U.S. earnings season effectively over, we did not list earnings as a key driver (though we did note that earnings may get a lift from the potential U.S. economic snapback). But that does not mean that earnings aren’t important. Not only are earnings important for U.S. stocks, they are important for overseas markets as well. This week we evaluate earnings seasons in Europe and Japan, and compare results with those in the U.S., to help inform our global asset allocation decisions. (We plan to look at emerging markets earnings in a future publication.) We continue to focus our allocations within developed markets in the U.S., but have begun to warm up to developed foreign markets in recent months.
GLOBAL EARNINGS PICTURE
We recapped the U.S. earnings season two weeks ago in our Weekly Market Commentary, “Earnings Recap: Good Enough?” (May 11, 2015) and noted that results relative to expectations were good. Excluding the energy sector, S&P 500 earnings grew at a very respectable high-single-digit pace year over year. And despite the stiff headwinds (strong dollar, lower oil prices, West Coast port strikes, severe weather, etc.), guidance was good enough to limit earnings revisions for 2015 to just a marginal decline. We remain comfortable with our view that earnings in 2015 may be good enough to get us to our 2015 total return forecast for the S&P 500 of 5 – 9% for the year.*
For the full article: GLOBAL EARNINGS UPDATE: THE TIDE IS TURNING