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U.S. Stocks in Longest Valuation Slump Since Nixon

Monday, January 30, 2012

(Bloomberg) Valuations for U.S. equities have been stuck below the five-decade average for the longest period since Richard Nixon’s presidency, a sign investors don’t trust earnings even after a three-year bull market.

Analysts estimate profits in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index will reach a record $104.78 this year after increasing 125 percent since the end of 2009, the fastest expansion in a quarter century, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. American companies are boosting income so much that even after stocks doubled, the S&P 500 hasn’t traded above its 16.4 mean ratio for 446 days, the longest stretch since the 13 years beginning in 1973.

Battered by the 14 percent decline in the S&P 500 since 2000, the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and the so-called flash crash 21 months ago, investors are staying away from stocks, even after record profits, 10 quarters of U.S. economic growth and promises by the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates near zero through 2014. Of the $37 trillion erased from global equities in the credit crisis, $24 trillion has been restored.

For Full Article: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-30/longest-s-p-500-valuation-slump-since-nixon-discounting-record-u-s-profit.html