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Ryan Sweet is director of real-time economics at Moody's Analytics. He is also editor-in-chief of, to which he regularly contributes, and a member of the US macroeconomics team in West Chester, PA. He is among the most accurate high-frequency forecasters of the US economy, according to MarketWatch. He is also an adjunct professor in the Economics and Finance Department at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. He has a master's degree in economics from the University of Delaware and a bachelor's degree in economics from Washington College.

Related Insights

Weekly Market Outlook: Higher Interest Rates Will Be the Source of Their Own Demise

The remedy of higher interest rates is taking effect. The risk of an overheating of financial markets and business activity appears to be waning. The market value of U.S. common stock has been unable to return to its record high of January 26 ever since the 10-year Treasury yield has risen from its 2.56% average of 2018's first 36 days to 2.88% since then. In turn, the S&P 500's forward-looking price-to-earnings ratio has eased from January 26's 18.7:1 to a recent 17.1:1. Not only will a less exuberant equity market rein-in wealth-driven spending by consumers, it will also curb business expenditures by containing the market valuation of business assets and increasing the cost of equity capital. Moreover, a less vibrant equity market may prompt creditors to demand additional compensation for default risk when lending to businesses.

May 2018 Pdf John Lonski, Franklin Kim, Yukyung Choi, Ryan Sweet, Kathryn Asher, Michael Ferlez, Barbara Teixeira Araujo, Katrina Ell

Weekly Market Outlook: Low Utilization Rate Favors Profits Growth and Fewer Defaults

Markets are now torn between upbeat outlooks for corporate earnings and the risks posed to these outlooks by a very low jobless rate. A recent consensus forecast has S&P 500 operating income growing by 22% in 2018 and by 11% in 2019. Moreover, the Blue Chip consensus believes that the pretax operating profits of all U.S. corporations will increase by 5.2% in 2018 and 4.4% in 2019. In addition, an expected drop by the U.S.' high-yield default rate from April 2018's 3.7% to 1.5% by April 2019 complements the positive outlook for profits. Nevertheless, April's historically low unemployment rate of 3.9% hints of limited upsides for both domestic spending and U.S. output that may thwart expectations of operating earnings growth and fewer defaults.

May 2018 Pdf Barbara Teixeira Araujo, Yukyung Choi, Katrina Ell, Franklin Kim, John Lonski, Njundu Sanneh, Ryan Sweet, Reka Sulyok

Weekly Market Outlook: Equities Giveth and Taketh Away from Credit Quality

The net equity buybacks of U.S. nonfinancial corporations fell from 2016's $581 billion to 2017's $391 billion possibly in response to the historically rich valuation of U.S. common stock. Indications are that first-quarter 2018's net stock buybacks were up considerably from 2017's final quarter mostly in response to the volatility that followed the setting of the now record high for the market value of U.S. common stock on January 26, 2018.

May 2018 Pdf Yukyung Choi, Katrina Ell, Franklin Kim, John Lonski, Ryan Sweet, Reka Sulyok, Njundu Sanneh