NEW YORK, March 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In the most recent issue of the Lookout Report -- a biweekly research note from S&P Capital IQ's Global Market Intelligence (GMI) unit -- analysts observe that more than any other single factor, the U.S. economy now requires sustained disposable income growth, coming from some combination of wage growth and tax policy, if the recovery is to remain on track and avoid recession. GMI Research has been closely following the U.S. employment situation and is monitoring discretionary consumer spending for signs of stress should retail gasoline prices exceed $4.00 per gallon.
These views are published in the Lookout Report for March 2, 2012. The report, which also features market insights and commentary on corporate earnings, leveraged loan trends, commodity index activity and more is available here.
Following are additional highlights in this issue of the Lookout Report:
Economic And Market Outlook: North American And European Earnings
Overall, analysts in North America expect the S&P 500 Index to report very low growth of 0.82% in the first quarter of 2012, with a forecast of 3.26% growth for the consumer discretionary sector and 2.38% for the consumer staples sector.
S&P Index Commentary: The Apple Of My Eye (And Of Our Portfolios)
The dramatic increase in Apple's share price has generated interest in the latest of a long and fairly infrequent string of S&P 500 market capitalization leadership changes. Apple is the 11th issue to hold market capitalization leadership since 1926.
Leveraged Commentary And Data: Leveraged Loans Return 0.77% In February
Bolstered by strong technical conditions and positive investor sentiment across the capital markets--which helped drive the S&P 500 Index to its highest month-end level since May 2008--the S&P/LSTA Leveraged Loan Index returned 0.77% in February after jumping 2.18% in January.
Market Derived Signal Commentary: The U.S. Maintains Its Status As The Least Risky Sovereign
As the eurozone continues to struggle with its debt crisis, default risk, though moderating, remains built in to credit default swap (CDS) spreads for many of those sovereigns. But the risk premium in the five-year CDS for the U.S. has declined to levels not seen since mid-2010, which we think reflects the credit market's confidence in the U.S. economy.
Capital Market Commentary: IPO Performance Rises In February
IPO activity increased in February as 17 offerings, excluding REITs and closed-end funds, were priced, raising $1.46 billion. Given the abundance of IPOs in the month, those recently priced issues found themselves among the performance leaders so far this year. Private equity-backed industrial machinery company Proto Labs Inc. now ranks as the top gainer among the early crop of 2012 IPOs, according to S&P Capital IQ.
S&P Index Commodity Commentary: Petroleum Takes Control
Commodity market performance and spiking petroleum prices in February have sparked uncertainty about early 2012 optimism as potential economic implications remain unclear. Industrial metals remained the best performing sector at the end of February, but petroleum prices have rallied, reintroducing geopolitical risk into the marketplace.
The Lookout Report provides cross-market and cross-asset class views of current data and forward-looking insights from leading S&P market specialists. Key areas of focus include aggregated corporate earnings, market and credit risk evaluation, capital markets activity, index investing and proprietary data and analytics. The report previews the issues most likely to drive market expectations or cause a market disturbance in the weeks ahead. It can be accessed on S&P Capital IQ.com and the S&P Capital IQ Global Credit Portal.
About S&P Capital IQ
S&P Capital IQ, a brand of the McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), is a leading provider of multi-asset class data, research and analytics to institutional investors, investment advisors and wealth managers around the world. We provide a broad suite of capabilities designed to help track performance, generate alpha, identify new trading and investment ideas, and perform risk analysis and mitigation strategies. Through leading desktop solutions such as Capital IQ, Global Credit Portal and MarketScope Advisor. desktops; enterprise solutions such as S&P Securities Evaluations, Global Data Solutions, and Compustat; and research offerings including Leveraged Commentary & Data, Global Market Intelligence, and company and funds research, S&P Capital IQ sharpens financial intelligence into the wisdom today's investors need.
SOURCE S&P Capital IQ