Upbeat Q2 Earnings Season Bodes Well for Q3 Returns

Gregg Greenberg
August 9, 2016

More than half way through second quarter earnings season, the third quarter is shaping up fairly well for equity investors, said John Manley, chief equity strategist at Wells Fargo Funds (WFC) . ‘The guidance is rather encouraging,’ said Manley. ‘You are seeing signs that things are picking up. The jobs numbers from last week gave me hope that the earnings numbers are going to follow on within a quarter or two.’ Stocks are also not excessively expensive at this juncture, according to Manley. On forward consensus earnings, the S&P 500 PE multiple is 17 compared to the 20-year average of 16.5. However, earnings expectations seem to be lifting off especially for mid-caps after a two year stagnation.