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CFO U.S. Economic Sentiment and Stock Market Returns

January 29, 2024 • Posted in Sentiment Indicators

The quarterly CFO Survey asks chief financial officers, owner-operators, vice presidents and directors of finance, accountants, controllers, treasurers and others with financial decision-making roles in small to very large companies across all major industries to “rate optimism about the overall U.S. economy on a scale from 0 to 100.” Does the average economic sentiment of these financial experts predict U.S. stock market returns? To investigate, we relate quarterly sentiment averages and quarterly changes in these averages to quarterly S&P 500 Index (SP500) returns. Using the specified quarterly data during June 2002 through December 2023, we find that:

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