December 2, 2019

Chart of the Day: S&P 500 Average Forward P/E’s by Duration

by David Aurelio.

The S&P 500 set a record high close of $3,153.63 on Nov. 27, 2019. This has been accompanied by multiple expansion. Today’s forward four quarter (F4Q) EPS estimate of $171.85 places the current F4Q P/E at 18.3. This is well above the 50-year average of 14.8. While the current level may look alarming relative to this figure, the chart above shows choice of duration matters, because it isn’t as elevated relative to the 30-year (17.1) and 20-year (17.2) averages. Going forward, investors will be watching to see if the S&P 500’s F4Q P/E will break above the 18.9 high (since Jan. 1, 2016), that was set on Dec. 18, 2017.

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