Earnings growth set a new millennium record in 2018. It’s now a major hurdle to growth in 2019. Growth estimates are a third of last year’s and declining. The mortar in the market’s wall of worry now is margins.
The New Year’s Eve tradition of “dropping the ball” to usher in the new year seems especially appropriate to close out 2018. The stock market had a tumultuous ride in 2018 and “dropped the ball” at year end!
Margins drove outstanding earnings growth in 2018, and can choke it off in 2019. It may seem as if this correction is a bit overdone. But there is a major issue. Margins are at record highs and forecast to recede.