With first-quarter earnings mostly wrapped up (nearly 80% of S&P 500 companies have reported), this chart provides some long-term perspective on the current...

With first-quarter earnings mostly wrapped up (nearly 80% of S&P 500 companies have reported), this chart provides some long-term perspective on the current earnings environment by focusing on 12-month, as reported S&P 500 earnings. The chart illustrates how earnings declined over 92% from the Q3 2007 peak to Q1 2009 low which brought inflation-adjusted earnings to near Great Depression lows. Since its Q1 2009 low, S&P 500 earnings have surged to all-time record highs. To further illustrate the significance of the current corporate earnings recovery, consider that the run-up in real earnings from Great Depression lows to credit bubble peak took over 74 years. The run-up from financial crisis lows to today has been similar in magnitude (actually slightly more) but was accomplished in a mere five years. (VIEW LINK)


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