Depending on how you look at it, August may not have been as bad a month for stocks as advertised. For the month as a whole, the MSCI all-country world stock index lost more than 7.5 percent. This was the worst performance since May last year, and the worst August since 1998.
But if you had bought in at the low on August 9, you would have gained healthy 8.5 percent or so.
The U.S. earnings season is over bar a handful of firms. It has been robust to say the least: Thomson Reuters Proprietary Research calculates that S&P 500 companies overall had second-quarter earnings growth of 38.4 percent. That was 11 percentage points higher than people had been expecting heading into the season.
There may be more surprises ahead — although which sort, remains in question. The research suggests that analysts still expect solid growth in the coming quarters and that the decline in U.S. economic strength over the summer has not changed their minds much.