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Data: FactSet; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The latest mini-selloff in U.S. equities sent the S&P 500's price-to-earnings ratio to a recent low of 21.1, but the metric remains highly elevated by historical standards — above the five-year average (17.3) and above the 10-year average (15.5), per FactSet.

By the numbers: "There has been a lot of volatility in the forward P/E ratio this year, falling as low as 13.1 on March 23," FactSet senior earnings analyst John Butters tells Axios in an email. "However, the forward 12-month P/E ratio has been above 20.0 pretty consistently since May, peaking at 23.4 on September 2. Prior to this year, the last time the forward 12-month P/E ratio was at or above 20.0 was April 10, 2002."

Go deeper

Oct 29, 2020 - Technology

Facebook beats on earnings

Photo: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

In earnings for the 2020 third quarter released Thursday, Facebook reported modest user growth but revenue increases that beat Wall Street expectations.

Why it matters: Facebook's business looks resilient and thriving despite — or maybe because of — the pandemic.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

New deals in the COVID economy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

COVID-19 is the macro horror of our lifetimes, and has destroyed or severely damaged countless businesses. But, like with most horribles, it also has created some opportunities.

Driving the news: Merck this morning announced an agreement to buy OncoImmune, a Maryland-based biotech that showed promising late-stage clinical results for a therapy that treats severe and critical coronavirus cases.

2 hours ago - Technology

Biden's openings for tech progress

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images 

Item No. 1 on President-elect Joe Biden's day-one tech agenda, controlling the flood of misinformation online, offers no fast fixes — but other tech issues facing the new administration hold out opportunities for quick action and concrete progress.

What to watch: Closing the digital divide will be a high priority, as the pandemic has exposed how many Americans still lack reliable in-home internet connections and the devices needed to work and learn remotely.

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