Our “Off The Wall” Blog
is now Monument #Unfiltered

Subscribe below to receive our unique, straight-forward, unfiltered wealth advice delivered straight to your inbox.

Yellen in the Hizzy!!!!!

Yellen economy and financial impact

Short week, short blog.  BUT, last week was noteworthy since most equity indices were up over 2.25% and some were up even more (see chart inside for more details of last week’s markets).  Still feeling blue about the equity markets?  Well, this should cheer you up… did you know that the S&P 500 is up a little over 5.5% off of its bottom on February 3rd?  Did you know that the S&P 500 is almost flat for the year after last week?  So what gives?  Well it’s more than just some Yellen in the Hizzy. (That’s a mash-up of some pop culture and Gen Y speak for those Baby Boomers out there.)  Don’t be scared – mash the hyperlink and read on.

I sense a lot of people, even after I pointed out some stats on sell-offs in last week’s blog, are still down on equities.

But BOOM – just like that, people who were getting scared suddenly saw the S&P 500 rebound and make up all but a fraction of the losses we saw up until February 3rd.    In fact, if you look at the NASDAQ, you’ll see that index is at bull market high. (Not an all-time high – we’d have to see an index level a little north of 4500 for a new all-time high).

Weekly Market Returns 2 17 14 resized 600

Weekly Sector Returns 2 17 14 resized 600

Was it all Yellen? Well, to be fair, there was some excitement last week about her positive statements, that’s for sure.  But I think it has more to do with fourth quarter earnings and it didn’t hurt that emerging market gloom has ebbed some.

So Earnings… 

As of last week, we have seen earnings reports from about 1400 companies and the whole season will come to an end this week.  We like to watch how well both the top line revenue and the bottom line earnings are doing. This quarter, things look pretty good for reported revenue.  See, revenue is important because it is sales.  Earnings are what are left over after the company factors in all of its expenses.  So a company can increase earnings without increasing revenue by cutting expenses, like employees.

But that can only last so long.  So we want to see revenue increase because that means more people are buying the company’s goods or services. As of now, here’s where we stand, thanks to Bespoke Investment Group for their in-depth data and reliable coverage of each earnings season.

Revenue

The percentage of companies beating their revenue estimate for the fourth quarter of 2013 currently sits at 64.1%. This number is WELL ABOVE the average of 60% we’ve seen since 2001 and well above the 53.2% that finished up the third quarter of 2013.  Of course, the earnings reports are not all through yet, but if they hold, we are on track to have the best “beat rate” since early 2010.

Earnings

The percentage of companies beating their earnings estimates stands at 62.9%, which is higher than the 58.6% final reading from the third quarter.  With the exception of setbacks in the first and third quarters of 2013, we have seen a nice, steady quarter-over-quarter increase in earnings since the second quarter of 2012.  If all holds up this week, the fourth quarter should finish up nicely relative to the third quarter of 2013.

If these numbers hold and the revenue beat rate is higher than the earnings beat rate, that sure will be something to note. I can’t even remember back to the last time we saw revenue beat rates outpace earnings.

Bespoke Investment Group also publishes a chart that shows the spread between companies guiding future earnings higher or lower on a percentage basis.  Up to this quarter, the spread has been negative for the NINE previous quarters, meaning that there are more companies stating they will earn less in the upcoming quarter than the same quarter a year prior.

As of Friday, the spread between companies posting negative guidance vs. companies posting positive guidance stands at -3.7%. That means, depending on this week, it is possible we could see companies warning that they will earn LESS next quarter than they did in the previous quarter ten straight times in a row.

TEN.

The last time this number was positive was the second quarter of 2011 and look how well the market done since the summer of 2011.

Finally, read this with your best Dos Equis commercial voice…I don’t normally get three day weekends, but when I do, I watch the ENTIRE season of House of Cards in one sitting.  I suggest it to anyone, it’s captivating TV even if you can’t stand fake southern accents.

Please call or email with questions.

Investment advice offered through Monument Advisory Group, LLC a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA).

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is comprised of 30 stocks that are major factors in their industries, and widely held by individuals and institutional investors. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index (S&P 500) is an unmanaged capitalization weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries. The NASDAQ Composite Index measures all domestic and non-U.S. based common stocks listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market. The market value, the last sale price multiplied by total shares outstanding, is calculated throughout the trading day, and is related to the total value of the Index. The Russell 2000 Small Stock Index is an unmanaged index generally representative of the 2000 smallest companies in the Russell 3000 Index. The Russell 2000 is an unmanaged index generally comprised of companies with lower price-to-book ratios and lower forecasted growth values.  The 2, 10 and 30 year Treasury is simply the yield at the close of the day.

(1)      West Texas Intermediate crude spot price is as of end of week.

(2)      London Bullion Market Association; gold fixing pricing at 3 p.m. London time.

David B. photo

David B. Armstrong, CFA

President & Co-Founder

Dave got into the industry when he discovered his passion for finance in his mid-20’s. He’s a combat veteran and served as an officer in the United States Marines Corps on both active duty and in the reserves, retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. While serving on active duty, Dave was unable to spend money on deployments, so he became a self-taught investor. Along with a few bucks cash as a bouncer, his investing performance grew to be good....

Learn more ...

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION

Please remember that past performance is no guarantee of future results.  Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Monument Capital Management, LLC [“Monument”]), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful.  Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions.  Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Monument. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. No amount of prior experience or success should be construed that a certain level of results or satisfaction will be achieved if Monument is engaged, or continues to be engaged, to provide investment advisory services. Monument is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice.

A copy of Monument’s current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request or at www.monumentwealthmanagement.com/disclosures. Please Note: Monument does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to Monument’s website or blog or incorporated herein, and takes no responsibility for any such content. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.

Historical performance results for investment indices, benchmarks, and/or categories have been provided for general informational/comparison purposes only, and generally do not reflect the deduction of transaction and/or custodial charges, the deduction of an investment management fee, nor the impact of taxes, the incurrence of which would have the effect of decreasing historical performance results.  It should not be assumed that your Monument account holdings correspond directly to any comparative indices or categories. Please Also Note: (1) performance results do not reflect the impact of taxes; (2) comparative benchmarks/indices may be more or less volatile than your Monument accounts; and, (3) a description of each comparative benchmark/index is available upon request.

Please Remember: If you are a Monument client, please contact Monument, in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services, or if you would like to impose, add, or to modify any reasonable restrictions to our investment advisory services.  Unless, and until, you notify us, in writing, to the contrary, we shall continue to provide services as we do currently. Please Also Remember to advise us if you have not been receiving account statements (at least quarterly) from the account custodian.

Get Monument #Unfiltered: Our Free Private Wealth Newsletter

Our no B.S. wealth advice delivered 2x per month, max. Tuned specifically for busy, high-net-worth business professionals and investors who want straightforward advice without the fluff.