Market Valuation: Is the Market Still Overvalued?

Market valuation indicators are used by investors and analysts to gauge whether markets are overvalued, undervalued, or fairly valued relative to historical norms. Here is a summary of the four market valuation indicators we update monthly.

  • The Crestmont Research P/E ratio (more)
  • The cyclical P/E ratio using the trailing 10-year earnings as the divisor (more)
  • The Q ratio, which is the total price of the market divided by its replacement cost (more)
  • The relationship of the S&P composite price to a regression trendline (more)

To facilitate comparisons, we've adjusted the two P/E ratios and Q ratio to their arithmetic means and the inflation-adjusted S&P composite to its exponential regression. Additionally, we've plotted the S&P regression data as an area chart type rather than a line to make the comparisons a bit easier to read. It also reinforces the difference between the line charts — which are simple ratios — and the regression series, which measures the distance from an exponential regression on a log chart. Thus the percentages on the vertical axis show the over/undervaluation as a percent above mean value, which we're using as a surrogate for fair value.

Based on the latest S&P 500 monthly data, the market is overvalued somewhere in the range of 88% to 149%, depending on the indicator, down from last month's 92% to 154%.

Market Valuation Methods (Crestmont P/E, P/E10, Q-Ratio, and Regression to Trend) adjusted to arithmetic mean

The chart below differs from the one above in that the three of our market valuation indicators, Crestmont P/E, P/E10, and Q-Ratio, are adjusted to their geometric mean rather than their arithmetic mean (which is what most people think of as the "average"). The geometric mean increases our attention to outliers. In our view, the first chart does a satisfactory job of illustrating these four approaches to market valuation, but we've included the geometric variant as an interesting alternative view for the two P/Es and Q ratios. In this chart, the range of overvaluation would be between 107% to 161%, down from last month's range of 112% to 165%.

Market Valuation Methods (Crestmont P/E, P/E10, Q-Ratio, and Regression to Trend) adjusted to geometric mean