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Market Update: 08-17-20

5 EARNINGS SEASON TAKEAWAYS

Jeffrey Buchbinder, CFA, Equity Strategist, LPL Financial | Ryan Detrick, CMT, Chief Market Strategist, LPL Financial

Corporate America delivered on expectations and then some during a second quarter earnings season that some are calling the biggest upside surprise ever. We recap the results, share five key takeaways for investors, and discuss our near-term outlook for stocks with the S&P 500 Index near record highs.

MUCH BETTER RESULTS THAN ANTICIPATED

Earnings blew away expectations that ended up being way too low. With 92% of S&P 500 Index companies having reported results, the average upside surprise has been 22%, which we believe is the highest ever recorded going back several decades. At 82%, the percentage of S&P 500 companies that beat earnings targets is the highest since FactSet began tracking that statistic in 2008. Earnings are still tracking to a significant 33% year-over-year decline, but that’s certainly better than the 45% decline reflected in analysts’ estimates when reporting season began (source: FactSet).

Download the complete PDF with graphs here.

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