The dividend and earnings yield of the S&P 500 is at a record low—even though it still beats that of Treasuries—and is raising some concern. This according to a recent Barron’s article (data from SentimenTrader).
The article reports that April’s 4.2% uptick in consumer prices “easily exceeds the S&P 500’s current earnings yield of 3.3%, giving the index a real earnings yield of -0.81%. That is unusual.”
On the surface, this seems to undermine the argument that stocks are more appealing than Treasuries, the article notes, but adds that things look better for stocks upon closer examination: “First, the implied dividend-yield figures don’t include stock buybacks, which should boost shareholders’ expected cash returns and potentially tip the scales back in the stock market’s favor.” Further, the negative earnings yield of the S&P 500 is still higher than the 10-year Treasury yield, the article notes, and compares well to the 10-year inflation rate of 2.4% “implied by bond-market pricing” (0.9%).
The article cites comments from SentimenTrader analyst Jason Goepfert, who says, “While acknowledging that history is never a perfect guide, we’d rather use it as a guide than pure guesses about why it’s not valid. And this history is waving a major red flag for the long-term.”