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A roundup of what The Globe and Mail’s market strategist Scott Barlow is reading today on the Web

BofA Securities (formerly Merrill Lynch) published a report updating their list of top U.S. stock picks – the U.S. 1 list.

There are a few familiar names like Amazon.com Inc. and Walt Disney Co. but a number of stocks that don’t get mentioned in finance media often, such as health care supply company Thermo Fisher Scientific, Raytheon Co. from the defense sector and logistics software firm Wix.com Ltd.

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“ @SBarlow_ROB B of A's US 1 list of top analyst stock picks’ – (full table) Twitter

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A Germany-based data firm published a list of the world’s most expensive housing markets in terms of price to income.

Hong Kong tops the table – although the current political upheaval is likely starting to take care of that - Vancouver is second and Toronto is sixth.

“The Places Where It’s Hardest to Afford a Home” – Statista

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BofA quantitiative strategist Savita Subramanian predicts that U.S. profit growth will beat expectations by 2.0 per cent this earnings season, but BMO economists worry that this bullish news is already priced in.

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Ms. Subramanian:

“The S&P 500 bottom-up consensus for 4Q EPS remained largely unchanged last week at $40.55 (vs. $40.59 on January 1). Following strong earnings, Financials saw the biggest upward revisions in consensus EPS (+3% since Jan 1), while Energy (sector with the biggest miss in 3Q) continued to drag down the overall estimates (-13% since Jan 1). We expect 4Q EPS to come in at $41.50 (+1% YoY), 2% above consensus' -1% YoY. Consensus expects 4% YoY sales growth in 4Q, up from 3% in 3Q, where we estimate FX was just a 0.5ppt headwind to growth, the lowest since 3Q18.”

BMO:

“As we enter the Q4 earnings season, S&P 500 profits are expected to dip 0.8% y/y, or a tiny 1.9% gain if we exclude the energy sector. Fascinating (though not at all uncharacteristic) how the market has stormed ahead of the current earnings slowdown, as if it is already in a world that will exist 6-to-8 months down the road. To that point, expectations are for earnings growth to gradually pick up to a 10% y/y clip by 2020Q3. Note that valuations have stretched out a bit during the latest bull run, so the market will probably need to see those expectations hit in order to keep going. The forward PE ratio is pushing near 19x, almost matching the cycle high.”

“@SBarlow_ROB Subramanian: "Estimates stabilize across the board; expect a 2% beat”” – (research excerpt) Twitter

“@SBarlow_ROB BMO: "Earnings Outlook: Rebound Priced In"” – (research excerpt, charts) Twitter

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“@SBarlow_ROB 54 SPX companies have reported. revenue growth + 3.7 yoy, EPS -3.3’ - (sector table) - Twitter

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Diversion: “Mental health: How to spot if you are suffering ‘burnout’” – BBC

Tweet of the day:

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