Strong European Earnings Are Keeping Europe Cheap

After years of diminished earnings ended in the third quarter of 2016, European companies have begun seeing sustained growth in their bottom lines. Ultimately, earnings drive stock prices, but the market is always trying to look forward; having strong earnings is not enough if the growth is fully priced in. That is the fundamental question with regard to stock market valuation—what are you paying for future earnings? Solid earnings in Europe are keeping price-to-earnings ratios (PE) static, while PEs on domestic stocks have been rising. This makes European equities increasingly attractive; however, currency remains a concern, as much of the recent performance of European stocks has been due to a strong euro relative to the dollar.

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