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2022 Q1 Earnings Are In and Valuations Are No Longer Extreme

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The following chart shows us the normal value range of the S&P 500 Index, indicating where the S&P 500 would have to be in order to have an overvalued P/E of 20 (red line), a fairly valued P/E of 15 (blue line), or an undervalued P/E of 10 (green line). Annotations on the right side of the chart show where the range is projected to be based upon earnings estimates for the next four quarters, through 2023 Q1. Note that earnings estimates are no longer soaring and are beginning to flatten.



Historically, price has usually remained below the top of the normal value range (red line); however, since about 1998, it has not been uncommon for price to exceed normal overvalue levels, sometimes by a lot. The market has been mostly overvalued since 1992, and it has not been undervalued since 1984. We could say that this is the "new normal," except that it isn't normal by GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) standards.


We use GAAP earnings as the basis for our analysis. The table below shows earnings projections through March 2023. Keep in mind that the P/E estimates are calculated based upon the S&P 500 close as of June 30. They will change daily depending on where the market goes from here. It is notable that the P/E is finally within the normal range, albeit still in the overvalued side of the range.


The following table shows where the bands are projected be, based upon earnings estimates through 2023 Q1.

This DecisionPoint chart keeps track of S&P 500 fundamentals, P/E and yield, and it is updated daily -- not that you need to watch it that closely, but it is up-to-date when you need it.


CONCLUSION: The market is still overvalued, but at least it is back within the normal range. This is thanks to improved earnings and bear market falling prices. As the bear market progresses, I expect actual earnings will fall short of estimates, and that prices will continue to fall. I would like to see the S&P 500 get back to the undervalued level. Falling prices will help that happen, but falling earnings will cause the value range to move lower, making it harder to reach undervalue.



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Carl Swenlin
About the author: is a veteran technical analyst who has been actively engaged in market analysis since 1981. A pioneer in the creation of online technical resources, he was president and founder of DecisionPoint.com, one of the premier market timing and technical analysis websites on the web. DecisionPoint specializes in stock market indicators and charting. Since DecisionPoint merged with StockCharts.com in 2013, Carl has served a consulting technical analyst and blog contributor. Learn More
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