U.S. equities and stock exchange traded funds were largely stuck in sideways action, but the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite still managed to break into record highs.
As the U.S. pushes toward the ninth year of the equity market rally, investors have been relieved to find that strong earnings growth is helping to support the elevated stock valuations – the S&P 500 is trading at 17.7 times forward 12-month earnings, compared to the 10-year median of 14.7 times, Reuters reports.
Fourth quarter earnings are projected to have increased 8.2%, the best in nine quarters.
“We’ve been getting some back and forth between the new administration’s business-friendly policies versus the disruptions economically and politically from the immigration and trade-related issues,” Jason Pride, director of investment strategy at Glenmede, told Reuters. “However, at the end of the day, the expansion is continuing, the economy and earnings are growing and that should support equities.”
U.S. stocks have surged in the wake of President Donald Trump’s election day win as traders bet that reduced regulations, increased fiscal spending and tax cuts would bolster the economy.
“Better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings, a good economy and President Trump’s pro-growth agenda serve as the basis for our constructive outlook,” Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management, told the Wall Street Journal.
However, the dearth in details regarding the Trump administration’s policies and the president’s focus on isolationist policies have perturbed investors.
“We’ve seen a bit of the honeymoon period for Trump come undone,” Stephen Gallo, strategist at BMO Capital Markets, told the WSJ.
For more information on the markets and U.S. Stock ETFs, visit our S&P 500 category.