Thursday, October 8, 2009

Analysts at Most Bullish Level in Two Years

Last night a friend asked why I titled our Alcoa earnings post "Alcoa Beats with Profit, Revenues: Angelic Choirs Sing (AA)". The above headline from Bespoke Investment Group is the short answer. Here's more:

...This brings us today, and the start of Q3 earnings season. As shown below, analysts are more bullish heading into the current earnings season than they have been at the start of any other earnings season since the recession began. Over the last four weeks, analysts have raised forecasts for 638 companies in the S&P 500 and lowered forecasts for 391. This works out to a net of 247, or 16.45% of the index. While some would argue that bullish analysts are a contrarian signal, we would note that earnings revisions were negative for several quarters and turned much more negative before they became a contrarian signal. With that said, the positive earnings revision ratio does set the bar higher than in prior quarters. Beginning today, we'll find out of the bar is too high.

Earnings Revisions

This is a contrary indicator. If fiscal and monetary policy retain the current biases, or tighten, we are close to a top in the markets. It's a game of chicken but the potential immediate term gains have the players gunning for everything they can take on the long side.
Stay tuned.