I wrote a preview a few weeks ago about the pending Q1 US equity earnings season. Expectations for earnings growth were high and needed to be met and exceeded for the bull market to continue. While the good news is that Q1 US earnings did deliver (79% of companies have beat consensus EPS projections, which is well above the long-term average of 69%) the most interesting aspect of this Q1 earnings season in the US, was the share price reactions were somewhat more muted than usual in response to the confirmation of strong earnings. I tend to believe that’s trying to tell us investors are becoming more discerning at the multiples they are prepared to pay for earnings growth in the US. That is a reasonable behaviour as the federal reserve lifts interest rates, and bond yields rise form record low yields.
From a technical perspective, the US Q1 earnings season was enough to again see the benchmark S&P500 Index bounce of the 200-day moving average. The 200-day moving average has been tested and held on at least five occasions in 2018 already, which is encouraging, however I would be concerned if it broke and held below at any point soon.