July 2017 Commentary

Q2 earnings have generally been better than expected as roughly 5% of the S&P 500 companies that have reported so far (as at the time of writing) have delivered upside surprises. However, there has only been a few stock price surges in response to positive earnings surprises if you consider Facebook and Apple in the US and Air Canada here in Canada. Excluding these companies, we’ve seen muted price appreciation for positive earnings surprises. On the other hand, we have seen severe stock price declines for earnings misses (recall steady-eddy Cineplex). Bottom line, ex‑energy, S&P 500 EPS growth is running at +9.3% year-over-year. This is a good number, especially given Citigroup’s US economic surprise index which, while improving, remains deep in negative territory. Reasons for the continuing negative economic index include weaker than expected ISM numbers, auto sales staying below the 17 million SAAR for the fifth straight month, and June construction spending unexpectedly contracting...

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Emma Querengesser