SARA SILVERSTEIN: Chris, heading into this past earning season, you repeatedly stressed your laser focused on earnings expectations for the S&P in the second half. With the June quarter behind us, what did you find out and what does it tell you about what's headed our way?
CHRIS VERSACE: So the June quarter was actually slightly better than expected. So with the benefit of hindsight, the consensus numbers for the June quarter, again, for S&P 500 earnings, they actually were slightly higher. Yet, when we did our analysis, we saw that earnings expectations ticked lower for the second half of the year.
Not huge, like, around 5-plus, 5.9%. It had been plus 7.1%. But again, that was yesterday. And then we come in to today and we hear companies, United Alaska Airlines, saying, oh boy, we're really starting to feel the pinch of higher energy costs, oil, jet fuel.
And I think we're going to hear a lot more of that in the next couple of weeks. We also saw, again, in the services PMI report, speaking to not only that, but just the impact of higher wages as well, I think that when we see companies making their rounds at these investor conferences, we could see comments about margins maybe not being quite as robust as previously expected. That would tell me that we see a little more pressure on second half earnings expectations.
And the thing is, the market in and of itself is trading around 20, depending on the day 20, 21 times forward earnings. That's above the 22-year high average from a PE perspective. So it kind of tells me that we need to be choosy here, whether it's focusing on companies that are growing their earnings far faster than the market, something I talked about several minutes ago, or we just have to wait for stocks to kind of get repriced and then pick up those opportunities when and where they make sense. So that's kind of what we'll be watching over the next couple of weeks.