Forget Earnings Beats, Forward Expectations Are Rolling Over Rapidly

Tyler Durden's picture

For some reason, investors' goldfish-like brains forget every quarter that time and again around 70% of names beat expectations and this fact is used as reason to buy buy buy. Certainly this time around, earnings beats are well within historical norms and furthermore are simply beating significantly lowered expectations. However, that is backward-looking and no matter what metric you use for valuation, the only one that really counts is how expectations are priced into the market. With regard to this, 12 Month forward EPS expectations have started to roll-over quite significantly for the S&P 500 (at around a -8.5% annualized clip) - the last time we saw this was Q4 2007 and we know how well that ended.

Actual S&P 500 earnings are 4.15% above previous peak levels and expectations for the next 12 months are 4.76% higher than at their previous peak level. Note that CPI rose 7.9% during this period so we are actually seeing earnings drop (admittedly that is USD CPI versus a rebased USD earnings number from global revenues). What is also interesting to note on the chart is the growing divide between expectations and actual earnings as we rallied - with expectations rising faster and faster - it seems reality is starting to set in to expectations and perhaps multiples might also start to reflect that soon.

The key for us is the start of what is evidently a rolling over in forward expectations for earnings. As stimulus roll off, this is hardly surprising and perhaps is a better fit to our parade of sentiment based indicators than a 'manufactured' GDP print which will be revised again and again over the next few months. Critically, the pace of the drop in forward EPS is rapid and while many will argue that containing the European risk premium puzzle may be the solution, it seems that growth will continue to lag in Europe, China growth will be 'carefully monitored', and without some miracle the super-committee is hardly likely to deliver anything other than a low/slow/no growth inducing fiscal effort in the US.

Chart: Bloomberg

hat-tip John Lohman

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
topcallingtroll's picture

Its time to party!
Maybe next month will be time to be scared.
Buy buy buy! (Stocks that is)

IQ 145's picture

Earnings Beats? "Beatings will continue until morale improves". You gotta admit the crazy little bastards are hell for optimism.

Doode's picture

Considering the "market crash" on death of Greece and other huge problems prophesized there is a strong chance that nothing is going to happen! Especially this Lohman guy. He was wrong on too many things that are huge (like this rally - the largest since 1987) - not buying any of it (except for the stocks :)). Things are going to be just fine - at worst no worse than the lows we have already seen in the last month.

ChitownTrader's picture

If anyone thinks that any index gaining 25% in 3 weeks is sustainable you will lose all your money unless you simply enjoy buying high and selling low! TIME TO SHORT

Racer's picture

The indices have got to try to keep up with real inflation

Saxxon's picture

I saw that one too.  YHOO has turned into a cesspool, the National Enquirer of the Internet.  The site is barely tolerable. 

I still like the way they marshall stock and sports info so I continue to proceed thereto; but I try to avoid the pages obviously devoted to the great unwashed (E.g., "Penny Stocks are the Key to Happiness").

Ancona's picture

The only perople who seem to regognize the ponzi is breaking are here on ZH.

B-rock's picture

...It's good to see that truth, but don't trade on it.

LawsofPhysics's picture

It really doesn't matter dude.  Jump in, if you have paper you are going to be super rich, we all are.  Now whether or not that paper actually buys anything is the real issue.

UP Forester's picture

Irrational Exuberance!!!  Greece is Saved!!!  Stocks are Cheap!!!  I'm all in NFLX, BAC, AMZN, and MF!!!!

My bank is going to take a 50% haircut on my mortgage!!!


They better, I can't afford gas, or food, or beer, or iPads, or med insurance, or anything else of consequence....

Cheesy Bastard's picture

I do not think investors have goldfish-like brains.  Goldfish are not self aware, Skynet is.

GeneMarchbanks's picture

A self-aware market maker that is.

Cheesy Bastard's picture

Market makers make me make a Makers Mark.

Liquid Courage's picture

Goldfish brain:

Hey, look, a castle! ... glubglub ... and a plant ... and a rock ... glubglub ... and another plant ...

Hey, look, a castle!

SheepDog-One's picture

401K / pension trap...this will all be paid for by them soon.

junkyardjack's picture

More like the Bull is going to rip the eyes out of the matador 

Manthong's picture

Also known to evolve into a "suckers rally".

Belarus's picture

The last time the market had this kind of run was January 1987. Does anyone remember what happened that year?

Tsar Pointless's picture

U2 had two number one songs.

I turned 17.

Madonna was allowed to make another movie.

Oliver North lied under oath and became a right-wing hero.

Gary Hart got in trouble for banging some woman.

I think there was some trouble in the stock market that year, too.

I could be mistaken.

UP Forester's picture

Hershey bars were 35 cents, and 16 oz plastic (or glass) bottles of pop were 60 cents....

wandstrasse's picture

hmmm what was 1988.... Lady Di died?

moriarty's picture

1997 year I got married.

As chance would have it I was born the same year. Supposedly by some metrics she was a very wealthy woman (which of material needs/wants she almost certainly was).

Sadly she is dead but at the time of writing I live on to see my daughter grow & I am the fortunate one.

Such is the life of men – all else is detail & circumstance.



Johnk's picture

Yes, the S&P 500 ran up another 20% before crashing.

Deadpool's picture

Robotrader last got laid.

SeverinSlade's picture

It must have been fast and furious.  I'm sure that's where Mr. Napolitano got his idea from.

Instant Wealth's picture

Exactly 25 years ago:


10-27-86: sudden deregulation of the financial markets by Margaret Thatcher, the Big Bang.

Anyone surprised by today´s rally ?

Instant Wealth's picture

uhh ... Rotten Albion junked me.

Irish66's picture

Oh it feels good,  finally placed a trade.


SheepDog-One's picture

Youre buying in right here? You must need a wheelbarrow to cart your balls around.

Irish66's picture

didn't say what i bought though...feels great

Deadpool's picture

hopefully a 20 year old Colleen.

bullnutz's picture

Interesting rumors coming out on a couple of miners this morning from regarding great panther and endeavour potential merger.  Great Panther is one of my favorite stocks, but I dont understand why they don't follow First Majestic's business model in offering bullion to the public.

I wanted to invest in a miner with direct bullion sales which are competitive with a company like APMEX.  Anybody have any suggestions?

Saxxon's picture

Bullnutz what do you think of BONZ.PK?  A scam?  Thnking of buying a lottery ticket . . . haven't done this in years . . .

lizzy36's picture

Well this does feel like October of 2007.

That efficient market hypothesis sure is awesome :)

FunkyMonkeyBoy's picture

Time for the rating agencies to come out with a couple of downgrades for European countries...

... the Bernank needs a stronger $dollar, he's impotent with a weak dollar.

SeverinSlade's picture

I'm pretty sure Mr. Chairsatan is and will always be an impotent little twit with a 1/3" pecker with or without a strong dollar.  Only someone like that would aspire to be the Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

I think the weakening as of late is partly a front-run of Bernank's November 2nd news conference.  

firstdivision's picture

Anyone else see that massive spike in SPY volume at about 12:22?  Looks like a large institution decided to sell this rally hard. 

oceanview76's picture

Yeah, I saw that.  Hope they didn't have to close that by end of day today.  That would have sucked bad.

Johnk's picture

Still a huge wall of worry on ZH and elsewhere.  Fear and greed. 

A month ago, we had great fear.  All the bears were very, very, very confident and cocky, just like bulls in 2000 (and bears always have the best arguments).  Now that the widely-predicted end of the world has been postponed for a bit, greed is returning with a vengeance.

Since when do fundamentals or facts matter in this market? (except of course in the long term, but what's that saying about the long-term?

To use another cliche, the market can remain irrational far longer than the shorts can remain solvent.  I think Bernanke is quite happy today, the bastard.

SheepDog-One's picture

No fear or greed at all here...just watching this clownshow unfold, the BigTop looks ready to cave in on everyones heads.

Belarus's picture

I don't know why Bernank would be happy. There is no way he can save the world during a melt-up, nor can he funnel more tax payer money to the PD's. The coordinated take-down will commence shortly. They have to have a reason to monetize debt to make it appear they are monetizing the debt for completely "other" reasons other than there's no way to plug the unfunded deficts without LSAP. 

You can't have no fear in the market for long: treasury yields would contineu to climb, which would continue to burden the unfunded gap....of course, Ben has lost control already. But he's so cokcy he'll try to regain as the robots are turned off for awhile, ramping prices inversely to today....bringing down WTI signficantly, etc. 

It's there only option. And see the negativity with Goldman? It's so they can have a "I told ya so moment."

jmac2013's picture

Just to play devil's advocate.  First, aren't the PDs some of the biggest stock holders, so the market going up is a defacto funnel to the PDs.  Second, the european bailout is a debt monetization.  Also, isn't Obama propsing some student loan bailout whereby the taxpayers pick up what students can't repay?  That will be a huge bailout coming.  And there is the mortgage bailout, which I believe will still come in some shape or form, and will be easy to sell to the masses. 

I don't think treasury yields really mean dip diddly to the US because they can simply monetize the debt if they choose.  Rising yields are only big problems to countries like Greece who cannot print euros to meet their debts.  Further, rising debt costs will just make it easier for the US, and everywhere else for that matter, to bring forth the austerity they are so dying to put on everybody.

I subscribe to the 'slow burn' that Catherine Austin Fitts describes, lower real wages and higher prices, a nice steady squeeze like boiling a frog.

i-dog's picture

+1 ... My thoughts exactly. Monetizations everywhere, and further syphoning of wealth to the PDs ... until 3Q 2012.

It really is like watching kids picking up pennies in front of a steam roller!