Companies Haven't Been This Negative About Their Outlooks In 7 Years

We are entering one of the more unusual earnings seasons in recent years.

Namely, we keep hitting all-time highs.

No problem, right?

Well, Dow Theory’s Richard Moroney has pointed out some disquieting facts about companies’ profit reports in his latest note to clients.

First off, profit growth has slowed in recent quarters. Consensus estimates project per-share profits for the S&P 500 will be up 1.5 per cent — “anemic,” Moroney says. 

So far, investors appear to have shrugged that off.

But negative outlook updates now outnumber positive updates by about 3.6-to-1 — the highest ratio since at least 2006, Moroney says, citing FactSet.

What’s more, he adds, stocks are no longer particularly cheap — average price/earnings ratios are now back in line with long-term norms.

Moroney’s conclusion: “If results disappoint, the temptation to lock up gains may prove hard to resist.”

Rite Aid, Sirius XM and Pier 1 all announce earnings today.

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