Update: S&P 500 Yield vs. 10 Yr Bonds

As of the close on September 30, 2009, the yield on the S&P 500 was 5.68%, based on trailing 5-year earnings. This compares to a yield of 4.82% for 10-year AA corporate bonds and 3.31% for the 10-year U.S. treasury. See the sidebar section entitled “Market Valuation” for links to the data. Although stocks don’t look cheap, the yield advantage of the S&P 500 over that of 10-year treasuries compares to that of other bear market lows. Caution: the yield on the S&P 500 changes markedly depending on what period is selected to calculate the earnings portion of the yield. The key here is to think about what normalized earnings would look like for the index.


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