Fundamental and technical indicators of the market's health
Key indexes vs. their 200-day moving averages:
A stock index's 200-day moving average indicates the basic trend, up or down. It is generally bullish if the index stays above the average.
S&P; 500 (Blue-chip stocks), Friday: 1,020.09
200-day moving average, Friday: 1,063.73
Russell 2,000 index (smaller stocks), Friday: 363.25
200-day moving average, Friday: 441.07
Price-to-earnings ratio of Standard & Poor's 500: 22.47*
Based on operating earnings per share, 12 months ended June 30;
average since 1923: 13.5
Dividend yield of the Standard & Poor's 500: 1.60%
Average dividend yield of blue-chip stocks; avg. since 1923: 4.5%
Weekly new highs vs. new lows on the NYSE: 32/522
Data for the week ended Friday. More highs indicate a bullish trend.
Investment newsletter sentiment:
Stocks' near-term trend as predicted by 135 independent investment newsletters, weekly survey by Investors Intelligence. The data are often viewed as a contrarian indicator: A rising percentage of bulls can signal a topping market.
Put-call ratio: 0.67
The ratio of stock put options to call options traded last week on the Chicago Board Options Exchange. Ironically, a low put-call ratio--under 0.40--can be construed as bearish because it indicates a high level of optimism, leaving a lot of room for disappointment.
* Now calculated based on operating earnings, which exclude one-time charges--so P/E is lower than if actual earnings were used.
Source: A.G. Edwards & Sons. More information can be found at
http://www.agedwards.com on the World Wide Web.