Earnings season officially kicks off this week, so let’s begin with a quick look at how expectations have evolved, and what it could mean for stock prices moving forward. The first thing to note is that S&P 500 earnings are expected to decline for the first time since Q2 of 2016.
We saw a strong rally in global equity markets yesterday, and much of that move was predicated on an improving Chinese landscape. On Sunday, the official Chinese Purchasing Managers’ Index came in at 50.5 (for March), signaling expansion for the first time in four months. The previous reading of 49.2 represented a three-year low.
There have been quite a few interesting developments over this past week, so we have a lot to cover. I want to begin by drawing your attention to the divergence between stock prices and bond yields. We discussed this back on March 5th, but since then, things have deteriorated even further.
The first thing I want to mention today is that the S&P has finally cleared its overhead resistance at 2815. As you can see below, that price level turned the index back on five separate occasions. The fact that prices are holding above this mark is a good sign, as it suggests the selling pressure at this level has subsided.
Over the weekend, our long-in-the-tooth bull market supposedly turned 10 years old. The reason I say supposedly, is because at least according to Dow Theory, we’re technically in a bear market. In addition, should the S&P 500 fail to reach new highs and instead fall below its December 24th low, the bull run could conceivably have ended back on September 20th.