It's been an odd earnings season so far. Talking heads are replete with examples of ad hoc names that have exceeded beaten-down earnings expectations choosing to ignore the belwether names that have missed and guided down. Data are thrown around left and right to support the argument that stocks are cheap to forward-earnings, that growth is around the corner, and that all is well in the real economy supporting the lofty exuberance among US equity markets. However, if one so chooses, the chart below should give you a glimpse behind the facade of the Q2 2013 EPS 'beat'. There is one source of the elixir of life, one provider of the mother's milk of stocks; S&P aggregate Q2 EPS is tracking $0.38 above the season start levels (around 0.8% beat) and financials account for an astounding $0.63 of that!
Still think the US economy is ticking along nicely? Maybe the top-down GDP expectations are on to something after all?
Source: Bloomberg and Goldman Sachs