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S&P500 PE Ratio Chart
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Today's chart illustrates how the recent rise in earnings has impacted the current valuation of the stock market as measured by the price to earnings ratio (PE ratio). Generally speaking, when the PE ratio is high, stocks are considered to be expensive. When the PE ratio is low, stocks are considered to be inexpensive. From 1900 into the mid-1990s, the PE ratio tended to peak in the low to mid-20s (red line) and trough somewhere around seven (green line). The price investors were willing to pay for a dollar of earnings increased during the dot-com boom (late 1990s), surged even higher during the dot-com bust (early 2000s), and spiked to extraordinary levels during the financial crisis (late 2000s). As a result of the recent surge in corporate earnings, the PE ratio has dropped to a level that has rarely existed over the past two decades.

Graph of S&P 500 earnings adjusted for inflation

Article: Beware of Annuities

Source: Chart of the Day (using data from the National Bureau of Economic Research)

Journalists and bloggers may post the above free Chart of the Day on their website as long as the chart is unedited and full credit is given with a live link to Chart of the Day at http://www.chartoftheday.com.

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