The S&P 500 closed today exactly where it first crossed in November 2014. In the interim, its been a roller-coaster of rips, dips, spills and thrills.
The thing is, however, this extended period of sideways churning has not materialized under a constant economic backdrop; it does not reflect a mere steady-state of dare-doing at the gaming tables.
Actually, earnings have been falling sharply and macroeconomic headwinds have been intensifying dramatically. So the level of risk in the financial system has been rocketing higher even as the stock averages have labored around the flat-line.
Thus, GAAP earnings of the S&P 500 in November 2014 were $106 per share on an LTM basis compared to $86.44 today. So earnings are down by 18.5%, meaning that the broad market PE multiple has escalated from an already sporty 19.3X back then to an outlandish 23.7X today.
Always and everywhere, such persistent profit collapses have signaled recession just around the corner. And there are plenty of macro-economic data points signaling just that in the remainder of this article (here)