The international stock exchanges recorded a rather dismal start into the new year. The reasons cited most frequently were China and the declining oil price. A weaker Chinese economy will definitely register also on an international scale due to the mere size of the country. While a weaker oil price is beneficial to consumers, it does cause significant levels of stress in the energy sector as well as among banks that provide credit to the sector.
A factor that has hitherto been more or less disregarded is the general earnings situation of listed companies. Therefore we want to take a closer look at this topic in this article. Without earnings growth, there can be no sustainable rise in share prices.
Earnings cycle has peaked out
In the developed markets equity universe the earnings cycle peaked out in February 2015. Since then, earnings have been on a slow but steady decline.