A new study by the Federal Reserve that looked at 600 earnings calls last month found that 42% of American non-financial public companies are discussing slashing investments. Another 17% are focused on drawing down on credit lines
(The study, conducted by Fed , economists Andrew Chen and Jie Yang, used machine reading to discover how many times senior company officials used words laced with financing worries for clues on what’s next in this economic crash.)
“The dramatic increase in the share of firms taking these actions indicates that financing concerns amid the Covid-19 outbreak are even more severe than they were in 2008,” the two economists wrote.
Based on trends from 2008, business sentiment won’t normalize for a year, according to the Fed researchers.
The S&P 500 is up more than 25% from its March trough on hopes of an economic recovery. However, dividend futures on the S&P 500 due 2021 are down 29% this year, compared with an 11% drop for the U.S. benchmark itself.