P/E Ratio April 20 (Fortune 500 list)

The Fortune 500 list just came out for 2009 (covering 2008). No big surprises, Exxon overtook Wall-mart and so on. Of course the Fortune 500 list is not the same as the S&P500 but who cares, in broad terms they should approximate each other. Earnings dropped from $645bln to $98.9 a mere 85%. Using the usual “ceteris paribus” this implies that the ratio, which , for the sake of argument , was assumed to be 16 ( I have no idea what it was) is now 107, but after the give or take 50% drop in stock prices, about 53. Cheap? Only in comparison to the 70 on the Nikkei back in 1989.