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As B400 Leaps, Profit Outlook Improves in Five Sectors

John A. PrestboJohn A. Prestbo

One month has passed since the Barron’s 400 Index was reconstituted and rebalanced. A lot has happened—such as the government shutting down and then reopening—and the index isn’t sitting still, either.

While all sectors saw their grades fall, five had their fiscal-year estimates nudged higher—all by less than 1%, but still noteworthy. Here they are:

Total Est. FY13 EPS
Sector 9/23/13 10/22/13 Net Chg.
Consumer Discretionary $319.69 $316.76 -0.92%
Consumer Staples $70.51 $70.67 0.23%
Energy $136.10 $132.76 -2.46%
Financials $301.29 $302.56 0.42%
Health Care $129.25 $129.74 0.39%
Industrials $293.45 $292.84 -0.21%
Materials $107.02 $106.48 -0.51%
Technology $221.02 $222.38 0.61%
Utilities $2.71 $2.73 0.61%

A substantial forecast reduction for energy and a smaller one for consumer discretionary clearly were responsible for the small overall decline in the Barron’s 400 fiscal 2013 outlook.

We will continue to keep your posted on these matters as year-end draws nearer.

John Prestbo, senior advisor to MarketGrader Capital, was formerly editor and executive director of Dow Jones Indexes. He was also chairman of the Dow Jones Index Oversight Committee. During his time at Dow Jones Indexes he worked, along with Barron's and MarketGrader, on the development of the Barron's 400 Index. Prior to that, Mr. Prestbo worked as an editor and writer for The Wall Street Journal in various capacities, including page-one editor, commodity news editor and markets editor. Mr. Prestbo has co-authored or edited several books over the past 30 years. The most recent was "The Market's Measure: An Illustrated History of America Told Through the Dow Jones Industrial Average," published by Dow Jones Indexes in 1999 and "Barron's Guide to Making Investment Decisions" which he helped to compile and edit in 2006. Mr. Prestbo won the University of Missouri Award for Distinguished Business Writing in 1967 and the George M. Loeb Achievement Award for Business Writing in 1968. In 2007, he won the William F. Sharpe Indexing Lifetime Achievement Award. That same year, he was honored for his leadership by Dow Jones Indexes during its celebration of 10 years as a separate business unit.

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