S&P 500 PE Ratio Historical Chart By Month (1900-2022)

Current S&P 500 PE Ratio20.58
Forward PE Ratio Q4-202319.49
Shiller PE Ratio29.00

The S&P 500 Price to Earning Ratio is a popular financial metric that helps an investor analyze the overall valuation of Standard & Poor’s 500 Companies. It tells you whether the US stock market is overvalued or undervalued and how much you pay for each dollar of earnings. PE ratio is based on comparing the stock’s closing price with its per-share earnings over time.

S&P 500 Historical PE Ratio (120+ Years)

According to historical data, the S&P 500 average P/E ratio was 13.34 between 1900 and 1980, while the average Ratio changed to 21.92 (1981–2022) over the next 41 years. The all-time Highest S&P 500 PE was 123.73, measured in May 2009 (after the market crash), and the Lowest PE was 5.31 found in December 1917.

PE Ratio By Month

What is PE Ratio?

PE Ratio is a financial metric that explains “what an investor is ready to pay to buy a share of a company based on the company’s earnings.”

For example, if the PE ratio is 20, the investor is ready to pay 20 times the company’s EPS (per-share earning) to buy a stock.

Reference: Oil company Chevron has a 5-year continued profit of $10, $20, $35, $50, and $80. Let’s assume that the company’s current stock price is $1200 because the most recent earnings are $80; for that reason, Chevron’s PE Ratio is $1200/$80 = 15. In other words, an investor who wants to invest in a Chevron company will get its money back over 15 years, according to the current earnings.

How to Calculate the S&P 500 PE Ratio?

To calculate the pe ratio, we required two elements: the current market price of the Index and S&P 500 Earning Per Share (EPS). Then you can calculate the P/E Ratio using this formula –

S&P 500 PE Ratio Formula

S&P 500 Forward PE Ratio

The forward P/E Ratio represents the current price compared to the next period’s projected earnings per share. So it’s just saying the current stock price will rise or fall until it equals next year’s earnings divided by today’s stock price.

Forward P/E Ratio = Current Share Price / Estimated Future Earnings per Share.

DateForward PE Ratio

Some investors believe forward P/E ratios are more marketing gimmick than meaningful, but they still provide another way to analyze a stock. They find it easier to locate promising stocks by examining their fundamentals rather than their future earnings.

Google PEApple PE
Amazon PEMicrosoft PE
Tesla PEFacebook PE

How to Analyze PE Ratio?

As long-term investors, we always look for fundamental data and growth possibilities. The P/E Ratio helps us to understand the overall valuation of the S&P 500 Index.

By comparing S&P 500 PE ratio with historical data, we can analyze how the US Market is priced compared to history. It also helps us identify the right time to buy stocks to make good returns.

Levels of P/E Ratio –

The S&P 500 Average PE Ratio is 14-17, which means if the current P/E Ratio is near the historical average, then it may be a good time to invest because the market is reasonably priced based on history. On the other hand, if the P/E Ratio is higher than the average, the market may be overpriced or expensive, and prices may fall.

But that’s not the point where you can trade based on PE. It depends on market sentiment, your analysis, and fundamental considerations. For example, in the same chart, you can see market prices are reaching their high during the market down phase, and if you are short on that level only based on an expensive market (high price-earnings Ratio), you would have lost money.

Also check: Invest In S&P 500 and Beat 90% of Funds.

PE Ratio vs. Interest Rate vs. Price vs. Earnings

In the process of wealth creation, no Investment decision can be taken based on just the PE ratio. You have to compare many different metrics and understand the relationship between them. In the below chart, you can easily compare and observe the S&P PE ratio with an all-important indicator –

To understand “How Interest Rate Works, ” check this Post – 10-Year Treasury Yield.

Most Popular Stories:

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Is S&P 500 In Bear Market?

You must deeply evaluate historical & critical levels of the pe ratio to understand the market valuations. One Standard Deviation is helpful in that research; you can see from the below image that the S&P 500 PE Ratio has spent most of its time during the last 100 years.

Standard Deviation of PE Ratio

The current PE ratio for the S&P 500 is now close to 20, which is almost the historical average PE. Also, the standard deviation indicates that 70% of the historical market has a range of PE levels between 12 and 20. This suggests that the Current Market is Fairly Valued.

But for better understanding and minimizing the impact of short-term earnings volatility, you can also check the Shiller PE ratio, which uses inflation-adjusted 10-year earnings data to make long-term comparisons possible.

See Also:

S&P 500 Shiller PE Ratio

S&P 500 Annual Returns


Q. What does the SP 500 PE Ratio stand for?

The S&P 500 PE Ratio is a valuation metric that displays the price/earnings of a stock. The PE ratio compares the price of one share of stock with its earnings per share. In other words, it determines how much investors pay based on the profits.

Q. What is the current S&P 500 PE ratio?

The current S&P 500 PE Ratio is 20.58 (estimated). PE is calculated based on the previous quarter’s earnings and current index price, so it’s not easy to determine the exact value; however, it’s still considered a good valuation indicator.

Q. Is the Stock Market Overvalued?

There is no direct answer to this question, but it can be understood based on the S&P 500 average PE ratio. The average price-earnings Ratio of the S&P 500 has been 20 to 22 over the last 40 years, and the current PE is 18 to 19, so it can be said that the market is overvalued.

Q. What is the Good PE Ratio?

The Lower or below-average PE Ratio is suitable for investors because it generally indicates that the stocks sell at a lower price than they should.

Q. Is the P/E Ratio enough to determine the valuations?

The S&P 500 P/E Ratio is a useful valuation tool, but to examine the whole picture, we also need to analyze additional fundamental data, technical analysis, and market sentiment.


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