Next Week Brings Key Interest Rate Decision

There has been lots of speculation regarding the Federal Reserve’s next moves of late. The answers investors are looking for will finally come out next week, when the central bank releases its interest rate decision, and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell offers his remarks. A slew of inflation indicators are on tap next week as well, in addition to jobs, manufacturing, and services data.

The earnings calendar is getting a lot quieter, but Accenture (ACN), Coupa Software (COUP), Darden Restaurants (DRI), Lennar (LEN), Oracle (ORCL), Weber (WEBR), and Winnebago (WGO) are set to report.

Below is a list of key market events scheduled for the upcoming week. All economic dates listed below are tentative and subject to change.

Monday, Dec. 12 brings the New York Fed one- and five-year inflation expectations, as well as a federal budget comparison.

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) small-business index is due out on Tuesday, Dec. 13. Plus, the consumer price index (CPI) and core CPI are on tap.

The import price index and Federal funds rate announcement will highlight Wednesday, Dec. 14. The summary of economic projections (SEP) median federal funds rate for end of 2023 will also be in focus, in addition to a news conference with Fed Chair Jerome Powell.

More initial and continuing and initial jobless data is scheduled out on Thursday, Dec. 15, in addition to the Empire state manufacturing index, retail sales data, Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index, industrial production index, capacity utilization rate, and business inventories.

The S&P U.S. manufacturing and services purchasing managers’ indexes (PMI) are expected on Friday, Dec. 16.

This article presents seven large-cap stocks that are regarded as cheap based on their price-to-earnings ratio. The price-to-earnings ratio tells an investor how much they are paying per share for every dollar of a company’s profit.

You can find a stock’s P/E ratio by dividing its stock price by its earnings per share. That looks like this:

P/E Ratio = Stock Price/Earnings per share (EPS)

For example, if a company is reporting earnings of $3 per share and their stock is selling for $30 per share, the P/E ratio is 10 ($30 per share/$3 per share). Many investors will look at a benchmark index like the S&P 500 as their guide for defining if a company’s P/E ratio makes a stock cheap or expensive. At the time of this writing, the average P/E ratio for stocks in the S&P 500 was   14x to 17x. That is the range we’re using for determining if a stock is cheap.

Of course, what is considered a “good” P/E ratio may depend on the market sector. For example, technology stocks tend to have a higher P/E ratio than the S&P average because they are projected to have stronger earnings and stock price growth than the broader market.

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