Biz Brief: Stocks at Cheapest Level Since Bear Market Low

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Too bad the market is trading on technicals and not fundamentals, because stocks haven't been this cheap on a forward earnings basis since the bear-market lows of last year.

As of Monday's close the forward price/earnings (P/E) multiple of the S&P 500 ($INX) stood at 12.9, according to Bloomberg data, a level not seen since March 13, 2009. If analysts' estimates are correct, stocks offer a 15% discount to their median five-year forward P/E.

Ordinarily a P/E multiple that low would lure in at least some bargain hunters, but until the European debt situation gets sorted out, analysts' estimates remain suspect and equities will likely continue to languish.
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