Trends Of S&P500 Earnings Forecasts

S&P500 earnings trends and estimates are a notably important topic, for a variety of reasons, at this point in time.

FactSet publishes a report titled “Earnings Insight” that contains a variety of information including the trends and expectations of S&P500 earnings.

For reference purposes, here are two charts as seen in the “Earnings Insight” (pdf) report of April 13, 2017:

from page 22:

(click on charts to enlarge images)

S&P500 EPS estimates

from page 23:

S&P500 annual EPS

_____

I post various economic forecasts because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not agree with many of the consensus estimates and much of the commentary in these forecast surveys.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2338.17 as this post is written

S&P500 EPS Estimates 2017 Through 2019

As many are aware, Thomson Reuters publishes earnings estimates for the S&P500.  (My other posts concerning S&P earnings estimates can be found under the S&P500 Earnings tag)

The following estimates are from Exhibit 20 of the “S&P500 Earnings Scorecard” (pdf) of April 19, 2017, and represent an aggregation of individual S&P500 component “bottom up” analyst forecasts.  For reference, the Year 2014 value is $118.78/share, the Year 2015 value is $117.46, and the Year 2016 value is $118.10/share:

Year 2017 estimate:

$130.92/share

Year 2018 estimate:

$146.81/share

Year 2019 estimate:

$160.63/share

_____

I post various economic forecasts because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not agree with many of the consensus estimates and much of the commentary in these forecast surveys.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2338.17 as this post is written

Standard & Poor’s S&P500 Earnings Estimates For 2017 And 2018 – As Of April 13, 2017

As many are aware, Standard & Poor’s publishes earnings estimates for the S&P500.  (My posts concerning their estimates can be found under the S&P500 Earnings tag)

For reference purposes, the most current estimates are reflected below, and are as of April 13, 2017:

Year 2017 estimates add to the following:

-From a “bottom up” perspective, operating earnings of $129.69/share

-From a “top down” perspective, operating earnings of N/A

-From a “bottom up” perspective, “as reported” earnings of $118.47/share

Year 2018 estimates add to the following:

-From a “bottom up” perspective, operating earnings of $146.15/share

-From a “top down” perspective, operating earnings of N/A

-From a “bottom up” perspective, “as reported” earnings of $132.45/share

_____

I post various economic forecasts because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not agree with many of the consensus estimates and much of the commentary in these forecast surveys.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2337.06 as this post is written

Chicago Fed National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI)

The St. Louis Fed’s Financial Stress Index (STLFSI) is one index that is supposed to measure stress in the financial system.  Its reading as of the April 13, 2017 update (reflecting data through April 7, 2017) is -1.369.

Of course, there are a variety of other measures and indices that are supposed to measure financial stress and other related issues, both from the Federal Reserve as well as from private sources.

Two other indices that I regularly monitor include the Chicago Fed National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) as well as the Chicago Fed Adjusted National Financial Conditions Index (ANFCI).

Here are summary descriptions of each, as seen in FRED:

The National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) measures risk, liquidity and leverage in money markets and debt and equity markets as well as in the traditional and “shadow” banking systems. Positive values of the NFCI indicate financial conditions that are tighter than average, while negative values indicate financial conditions that are looser than average.

The adjusted NFCI (ANFCI). This index isolates a component of financial conditions uncorrelated with economic conditions to provide an update on how financial conditions compare with current economic conditions.

For further information, please visit the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s web site:

http://www.chicagofed.org/webpages/publications/nfci/index.cfm

Below are the most recently updated charts of the NFCI and ANFCI, respectively.

The NFCI chart below was last updated on April 19, 2017 incorporating data from January 5,1973 through April 14, 2017, on a weekly basis.  The April 14, 2017 value is -.78:

NFCI

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed April 19, 2017:

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/NFCI

The ANFCI chart below was last updated on April 19, 2017 incorporating data from January 5,1973 through April 14, 2017, on a weekly basis.  The April 14 value is -.15:

ANFCI

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed April 19, 2017:

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/ANFCI

_________

I post various indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not necessarily agree with what they depict or imply.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2343.58 as this post is written

April 2017 IMF Report – Probabilities Of Recession And Deflation

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently published the April 2017 “World Economic Outlook.” (pdf)  The subtitle is “Gaining Momentum?”

One area of the report is Figure 1.20 on page 29.  While I do not agree with the current readings of the two measures presented – Probability of Recession and the Probability of Deflation – I do find them to be notable, especially as one can compare these estimates across various global economies.

As one can see, the report states that the U.S. is estimated to have a roughly 22% probability of recession and roughly a 2% probability of deflation for the periods indicated.

_________

I post various economic indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this blog are aware, I do not necessarily agree with what they depict or imply.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2343.51 this post is written

Disturbing Charts (Update 26)

I find the following charts to be disturbing.   These charts would be disturbing at any point in the economic cycle; that they (on average) depict such a tenuous situation now – 94 months after the official (as per the September 20, 2010 NBER BCDC announcement) June 2009 end of the recession – is especially notable.

These charts raise a lot of questions.  As well, they highlight the “atypical” nature of our economic situation from a long-term historical perspective.

All of these charts are from the Federal Reserve, and represent the most recently updated data.

(click on charts to enlarge images)

Housing starts (last updated 3-16-17):

HOUST

US. Bureau of the Census, Housing Starts: Total: New Privately Owned Housing Units Started [HOUST], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/HOUST/, April 17, 2017.

The Federal Deficit (last updated 1-9-17):

U.S. Federal Deficit

US. Office of Management and Budget, Federal Surplus or Deficit [-] [FYFSD], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/FYFSD/, April 17, 2017.

Federal Net Outlays (last updated 1-9-17):

Federal Net Outlays

US. Office of Management and Budget, Federal Net Outlays [FYONET], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/FYONET/, April 17, 2017.

State & Local Personal Income Tax Receipts  (% Change from Year Ago)(last updated 3-30-17):

ASLPITAX Percent Change From Year Ago

US. Bureau of Economic Analysis, State and local government current tax receipts: Personal current taxes: Income taxes [ASLPITAX], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/ASLPITAX/, April 17, 2017.

Total Loans and Leases of Commercial Banks (% Change from Year Ago)(last updated 4-14-17):

TOTLL Percent Change From Year Ago

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US), Loans and Leases in Bank Credit, All Commercial Banks [TOTLL], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/TOTLL/, April 17, 2017.

Bank Credit – All Commercial Banks (% Change from Year Ago)(last updated 4-14-17):

TOTBKCR Percent Change From Year Ago

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US), Bank Credit of All Commercial Banks [TOTBKCR], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/TOTBKCR/, April 17, 2017.

M1 Money Multiplier (last updated 4-6-17):

M1 Money Multiplier

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, M1 Money Multiplier [MULT], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/MULT/, April 17, 2017.

Median Duration of Unemployment (last updated 4-7-17):

Median Duration Of Unemployment

US. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Median Duration of Unemployment [UEMPMED], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/UEMPMED/, April 17, 2017.

Labor Force Participation Rate (last updated 4-7-17):

Labor Force Participation Rate

US. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate [CIVPART], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/CIVPART/, April 17, 2017.

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) 3-month moving average (CFNAI-MA3)(last updated 3-20-17):

CFNAI-MA3

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago Fed National Activity Index: Three Month Moving Average [CFNAIMA3], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/CFNAIMA3/, April 17, 2017.

I will continue to update these charts on an intermittent basis as they deserve close monitoring…

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2349.01 as this post is written

Deflation Probabilities – April 13, 2017 Update

While I do not agree with the current readings of the measure – I think the measure dramatically understates the probability of deflation, as measured by the CPI – the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta maintains an interesting data series titled “Deflation Probabilities.”

As stated on the site:

Using estimates derived from Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) markets, described in a technical appendix, this weekly report provides two measures of the probability of consumer price index (CPI) deflation through 2021.

A chart shows the trends of the probabilities.  As one can see in the chart, the readings are volatile.

As for the current weekly reading, the April 13, 2017 update states the following:

The 2015–20 deflation probability was 1 percent on April 12, unchanged from April 5. The 2016–21 deflation probability was 1 percent on April 11—the first positive reading since January 17—but fell back to 0 percent on April 12. These 2015–20 and 2016–21 deflation probabilities, measuring the likelihoods of net declines in the consumer price index over the five-year periods starting in early 2015 and early 2016, are estimated from prices of the five-year Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) issued in April 2015 and April 2016 and the 10-year TIPS issued in July 2010 and July 2011.

_________

I post various economic indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not necessarily agree with what they depict or imply.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2335.09 this post is written

The April 2017 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey

The April 2017 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published on April 13, 2017.  The headline is “Forecasters Lower Growth Outlook as Hopes for Quick Stimulus Fade.”

I found numerous items to be notable – although I don’t necessarily agree with them – both within the article and in the “Economist Q&A” section.

Two excerpts:

A growing number of forecasters are beginning to reconsider their bullish outlook for the U.S. economy as doubts grow over the extent to which President Donald Trump will be able to implement his agenda.

also:

Growth forecasts for the first quarter have come down. In December, the average forecast called for 2.3% growth in the first quarter. That had fallen to 1.9% in March and dipped again to 1.4% in this month’s survey.

As seen in the “Recession Probability” section, the average response as to the odds of another recession starting within the next 12 months was 15.79%. The individual estimates, of those who responded, ranged from 0% to 38%.  For reference, the average response in March’s survey was 14.41%.

As stated in the article, the survey’s respondents were 61 academic, financial and business economists.  Not every economist answered every question.  The survey occurred on April 7, 2017 to April 11, 2017.

The current average forecasts among economists polled include the following:

GDP:

full-year 2017:  2.3%

full-year 2018:  2.5%

full-year 2019:  2.1%

Unemployment Rate:

December 2017: 4.4%

December 2018: 4.3%

December 2019: 4.5%

10-Year Treasury Yield:

December 2017: 2.84%

December 2018: 3.32%

December 2019: 3.65%

CPI:

December 2017:  2.4%

December 2018:  2.4%

December 2019:  2.3%

Crude Oil  ($ per bbl):

for 12/31/2017: $54.42

for 12/31/2018: $56.40

(note: I highlight this WSJ Economic Forecast survey each month; commentary on past surveys can be found under the “Economic Forecasts” category)

_____

I post various economic forecasts because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not necessarily agree with many of the consensus estimates and much of the commentary in these forecast surveys.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2338.52 as post is written

Chicago Fed National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI)

The St. Louis Fed’s Financial Stress Index (STLFSI) is one index that is supposed to measure stress in the financial system.  Its reading as of the April 6, 2017 update (reflecting data through March 31, 2017) is -1.363.

Of course, there are a variety of other measures and indices that are supposed to measure financial stress and other related issues, both from the Federal Reserve as well as from private sources.

Two other indices that I regularly monitor include the Chicago Fed National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) as well as the Chicago Fed Adjusted National Financial Conditions Index (ANFCI).

Here are summary descriptions of each, as seen in FRED:

The National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) measures risk, liquidity and leverage in money markets and debt and equity markets as well as in the traditional and “shadow” banking systems. Positive values of the NFCI indicate financial conditions that are tighter than average, while negative values indicate financial conditions that are looser than average.

The adjusted NFCI (ANFCI). This index isolates a component of financial conditions uncorrelated with economic conditions to provide an update on how financial conditions compare with current economic conditions.

For further information, please visit the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s web site:

http://www.chicagofed.org/webpages/publications/nfci/index.cfm

Below are the most recently updated charts of the NFCI and ANFCI, respectively.

The NFCI chart below was last updated on April 12, 2017 incorporating data from January 5,1973 through April 7, 2017, on a weekly basis.  The April 7, 2017 value is -.78:

NFCI

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed April 12, 2017:

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/NFCI

The ANFCI chart below was last updated on April 12, 2017 incorporating data from January 5,1973 through April 7, 2017, on a weekly basis.  The April 7 value is -.16:

ANFCI

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed April 12, 2017:

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/ANFCI

_________

I post various indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this blog are aware, I do not necessarily agree with what they depict or imply.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2344.33 as this post is written

Charts Indicating Economic Weakness – April 12, 2017

Throughout this site there are many charts of economic indicators.  At this time, the readings of various indicators are especially notable.  While many are still indicating economic growth, others depict (or imply) various degrees of weakness.

Below are a small sampling of charts that depict greater degrees of weakness and/or other worrisome trends, and a brief comment for each:

Consumer Spending

In the March 23, 2017 post (“‘Hidden’ Weakness In Consumer Spending?“) I wrote of various indications that consumer spending may be (substantially) less than what is depicted by various mainstream indicators.  There are widespread consequences for the U.S. economy, including the implications regarding the substantial number of retail store closures.

Auto Sales

One aspect of consumer spending, auto sales, have experienced significant growth over the post-2009 period, and the current reading (through March) is 16.529 million vehicles:

Light vehicle sales

source:  U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Light Weight Vehicle Sales: Autos and Light Trucks [ALTSALES], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed April 10, 2017:

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/ALTSALES

While some believe that auto sales have peaked, what is more worrisome is various underlying dynamics of these sales.  While an exhaustive discussion of such dynamics would be exceedingly lengthy, various notable factors include the degree to which (ultra-) cheap financing and relaxed financing terms are aiding sales, as well as the current amount of discounting and various new- and used-car inventory levels.  In essence, the current business model for the entire automotive industry appears vulnerable, with wide-ranging, substantial economic implications.

Heavy Truck Sales

Another area of vehicle sales which continues to indicate disconcerting trends is sales of Heavy Trucks, defined as trucks with more than 14,000 pounds gross vehicle weight.  Below is a chart of the sales trend since 1968, with a value of .366 million SAAR through March 2017 as of the April 10 update:

Heavy Truck Sales

source:  U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Motor Vehicle Retail Sales: Heavy Weight Trucks [HTRUCKSSAAR], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, accessed April 10, 2017:

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/HTRUCKSSAAR

A chart depicting this measure on a “Percent Change From Year Ago” basis:

Heavy Truck Sales Percent Change From Year Ago

GDP Estimates

While there are many GDP forecasts indicating GDP growth exceeding 2% for 2017, the first quarter GDP estimate provided by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta “GDP Now” is distinctly different than the consensus.  As of the April 7, 2017 update, the estimate for the 1st Quarter of 2017 is .6%.

What is notable in this estimate is the persistent and significant degree of decline.

While I don’t believe in putting undue emphasis on one estimate, it does serve as yet another indication that economic activity may be (substantially) below the consensus estimates.

“Reflation”

One aspect of the U.S. economy that has been widely discussed since the November 2016 elections is that of “reflation.”

While, on an aggregate basis, some “reflation” appears to have recently occurred, it appears to be muted in nature.  In addition, various factors indicate that such “reflation” will be transitory in nature.

Indications of the above are various, and include the persistently subdued 10-Year Treasury Yield (at 2.361% as of the April 10 close) and the levels seen in the yield curve.

Here is a chart of the 10-Year Treasury Yield, from 1990:

(click on chart to enlarge image)(chart courtesy of StockCharts.com; chart creation and annotation by the author)

10-Year Treasury Yield since 1990

The level of current inflation and the possibility of deflation (when the CPI goes below zero) is a vastly complex topic, and as such isn’t suitably discussed in a brief manner.  I have discussed the issue of deflation extensively as I continue to believe that outright sustained deflation will occur.  As I have stated in past commentaries, I don’t believe that surveys or “market-based” measures concerning deflation will provide adequate “advance warning” of impending deflation.

Other Indicators

As well, many other indicators – including vastly problematical conditions in current and especially future employment – and other areas mentioned on this site indicate economic weakness if not outright (substantially) problematical economic conditions.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2353.78 as this post is written