One month has passed since the Barron’s 400 Index was reconstituted and rebalanced. A lot has happened—such as the government shutting down and then reopening—and the index isn’t sitting still, either.
- First, the Barron’s 400 has jumped 3.8%, versus 2.4% for the Dow Jones U.S. Total Stock Market Index, which includes all exchange-listed stocks. That’s a plump premium to the market of 140 basis points, or 58%.
- Second, fiscal 2013 earnings estimates for Barron’s 400 components eroded only slightly as the companies, selected for their financial strength, fine-tuned their guidance. From a sum of per-share earnings of $1,581.04 on September 23, the total dipped just 0.3% by Oct. 22 to $1,576.91.
- Third, MarketGrader scores for Barron’s 400 components began dropping, as they usually do when fast-rising stock prices dim companies’ “value” characteristics. The average grade slipped 0.8% to 67.52 in the month.
While all sectors saw their grades fall, five had their fiscal-year estimates nudged higher—all by less than 1%, but still noteworthy. Here they are:
|Total Est. FY13 EPS|
A substantial forecast reduction for energy and a smaller one for consumer discretionary clearly were responsible for the small overall decline in the Barron’s 400 fiscal 2013 outlook.
We will continue to keep your posted on these matters as year-end draws nearer.