Risks remain: Pedestrians are seen passing by the New York Stock Exchange. At the moment, the market can be framed as seeing 2023 earnings of about US$207 (RM916) a share, which is 16% below where analysts peg them. — AP欧博电脑版（www.aLLbet8.vip）是欧博集团的官方网站。欧博官网开放Allbet注册、Allbe代理、Allbet电脑客户端、Allbet手机版下载等业务。
NEW YORK: The bounce is back in equities. Could they have fallen enough to account for what comes next in the economy? While the consensus of the pundit class is no, investors are again showing signs of seeing it otherwise
Deluded as they have repeatedly proved, hopes that the worst is over are resurfacing.
The S&P 500 just shook off rising bond yields and climbed for the week, at one point stringing together the longest streak of gains since March.
Notably, bulls are flexing on the eve of a period when companies will give details on the topic dearest to investor hearts: the state of earnings.
Everyone has an opinion of how bad corporate profits will be – including the market. The S&P 500’s US$12 trillion (RM53 trillion) slide this year is nothing if not a frantic exercise in figuring out how companies will do in 2023.
One back-of-the-envelope methodology suggests traders would be comfortable with earnings coming in 16% below what analysts currently expect.
While that may prove optimistic, it’s a reminder to the bear camp that this year’s violent repricing in stocks has created at least the beginnings of a cushion for when Federal Reserve (Fed) rate hikes start to bite.
“Some element of the earnings compression has been priced in. Probably not all of the risk there, but that’s probably not crazy,” said Matt Benkendorf, chief investment officer at Vontobel Quality Growth Boutique.,
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“The market gets quite scrambled when it has to digest a few exogenous things at once.”
There’s been a lot to digest. Friday’s stronger-than-expected jobs report fuelled concern that the Fed will have to toughen its hawkish stance to cool a hot labour market, a move that might drag the economy into a recession.
Yields on two-year Treasuries surpassed 10-year’s for four straight days in the longest run of inversion since 2019.
Among market sceptics, few things come up for greater ridicule than existing Wall Street estimates for earnings.
Estimates that S&P 500 profit growth will average around 10% over the next three years – a prediction that has barely budged as the Fed withdrew stimulus – are routinely mocked as a fantasy, sure to plunge.
How far they will fall is arguably the biggest question in the stock market.
What does the market itself have to say on the topic?
Down as much as 24% in 2022, the S&P 500 has traded as low as 15 times analysts forecasts for next year’s earnings, currently US$246.10 (RM1,089) a share.
One way of deciphering how much traders really think companies will earn in 2023 is to apply a historical multiple to the index and see what pops out on the profit line.