As you may be aware, we in large part look though a top-down macroeconomic lens when formulating our equity sector views, starting with the overall economy and driving down to industry level.
In the last installment of Sector Views, we delved into the impact interest rates have on relative sector performance. We also focus on trends that are specific to individual industries—whether it be secular changes in demographics or burgeoning technologies. So far, Q3 earnings generally have surprised to the upside. Quarterly earnings estimates are based on consensus forecasts according to Bloomberg Earnings Estimates BEst of the consistent stocks.
Earnings growth is based on a year-over-year comparison with Q3 As the chart above shows, the vast majority of companies reporting so far have beat estimates—led by the Consumer Discretionary, Health Care and Technology sectors. Energy, Materials and Technology are the culprits. So it was a relatively high hurdle that is weighing on the year-over-year comparison, as can be seen below.
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Year-over-year earnings growth faces a high bar vs. Quarterly forward earnings estimates are based on consensus forecast according to Bloomberg Earnings Estimates BEst of the consistent stocks. It is important to note, however, that those estimates have been coming down.
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While this is the typical pattern for consensus estimates, as excessive optimism merges with reality, we are keeping a close eye on the sharper drop off in longer-term earnings growth expectations that may be signaling that a cyclical peak in earnings is near. Earnings are expected to continue to climb in through Bringing it back to the individual sectors, the trend in annual earnings is generally positive over the next two years.
Yearly earnings are estimates for and , and are based on consensus forecasts according to Bloomberg Earnings Estimates BEst of the consistent stocks. As we stated above, the mix of signals at the macroeconomic level makes it difficult to pin down strong views on most of the sectors. So, we must rely more heavily on long-term industry trends and fundamentals to provide more clarity into the sectors that are less affected by the macro environment.
The Health Care sector is currently the only sector we expect to outperform the broad market over the next three to six months. Additionally, the Health Care sector is poised to see the strongest growth in earnings this year. Finally, just in case the economy slips toward recession, it is after all a historically defensive sector. Forward earnings estimates are based on consensus month forecasts according to Bloomberg Earnings Estimates BEst of the consistent stocks. Long Term earnings estimates are based on consensus five-year forecasts according to Bloomberg Earnings Estimates BEst of the consistent stocks.
Keep in mind, no matter what our view is on any of the sectors, remaining diversified is very important. Concentrating in too few sectors can dramatically affect the risk profile and performance of your portfolio. So if you do make any sector tilts in your portfolio, keeping them small is a good way to maintain appropriate diversification and potentially enhance performance of your portfolio.
Consumer Discretionary. Consumer Staples. Health Care. Information Technology. Real Estate.
After a review of risks and opportunities, we give each stock sector one of the following ratings:. Investors should generally be well-diversified across all stock market sectors. Investors who want to make tactical shifts in their portfolios can use Schwab Sector Views' outperform, underperform and marketperform ratings as a resource. These ratings can be helpful in evaluating and monitoring the domestic equity portion of your portfolio. Schwab Sector Views can also be useful in identifying stocks by sector for potential purchase or sale.
When it's time to make adjustments, clients can use the Stock Screener or Mutual Fund Screener to help identify buy or sell candidates in particular sectors. Schwab Equity Ratings also can provide an objective and powerful approach for helping you select and monitor stocks. At Charles Schwab, we encourage everyone to take ownership of their financial life by asking questions and demanding transparency. Schwab Sector Views do not represent a personalized recommendation of a particular investment strategy to you.
You should not buy or sell an investment without first considering whether it is appropriate for you and your portfolio. Additionally, you should review and consider any recent market news. Supporting documentation for any claims or statistical information is available upon request. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market or other conditions.
Utility stocks have not only soared during the past 12 months, they have also measured up well over the long haul.
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It may not surprise you that utility stocks have fared well as interest rates have declined, but a closer look at the sector may genuinely shock you. Look at the bottom of the table. The month returns have been paltry. So the month figures are more meaningful. It is understandable that the utilities and real estate sectors — considered dividend-income investments — have fared well as the yield on year U.
But the utilities sector has been ranked in the top half for all other periods and third for 15 and 20 years. And it is possible, even likely, that interest rates will head even lower.
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The Federal Reserve is under pressure to lower short-term interest rates further as economic reports show a slowdown in growth, and the central bank may take other steps to push interest rates lower, as central banks in other developed economies have done. Keeping the list in the same order, here are month sales and earnings-per-share growth figures for the group through the most recently reported fiscal quarter-ends. We have included sales per share, as well as raw revenue growth figures because the per-share numbers will be lower if any dilution has taken place through the net issuance of new shares to fund acquisitions or for other purposes.
The per-share numbers will be higher if the share count has declined because of share repurchases. Evergy EVRG, The high number of utility companies showing extreme variance in earnings per share for the most recent month period shows that this is an industry in flux, with mergers, unit sales and more complicated deals being announced almost continually.
So if you are looking to invest in individual utility stocks, you better do your homework. Philip van Doorn covers various investment and industry topics.
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He has previously worked as a senior analyst at TheStreet. Economic Calendar Tax Withholding Calculator. Retirement Planner.
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Sign Up Log In. The hottest stock-market sector in the past year beats technology and real estate. By Philip van Doorn. Comment icon. Text Resize Print icon. Duke Energy. By Philip van Doorn Investing columnist. D, ED, ETR, PEG, PNW, EXC, AEP, EVRG, DTE, XEL, AEE, Louis Missouri 2. CMS, NEE, ATO,