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Chart of the Day
Today's chart illustrates how the recent plunge in earnings has impacted the current valuation of the stock market as measured by the price to earnings ratio (PE ratio). Generally speaking, when the PE ratio is high, stocks are considered to be expensive. When the PE ratio is low, stocks are considered to be inexpensive. From 1936 into the late 1980s, the PE ratio tended to peak in the low 20s (red line) and trough somewhere around seven (green line). The price investors were willing to pay for a dollar of earnings increased during the dot-com boom (late 1990s) and the dot-com bust (early 2000s). As a result of the recent plunge in earnings and recent stock market rally, the PE ratio spiked and just peaked at 144 a record high. Currently, with 97% of US corporations having reported for Q2 2009, the PE ratio now stands at a lofty 129.

Notes:
- Where's the market headed? The answer may surprise you. Find out right now with the exclusive & Barron's recommended charts of Chart of the Day Plus.

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Quote of the Day
"Value (like beauty) is in the eye of the beholder." - Dean Lebaron

Events of the Day
August 31, 2009 - US Open tennis tournament begins (ends September 13th)

Stocks of the Day
-- Find out which stocks investors are focused on with the most active stocks today.
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