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Emerging Markets Report: This is the high-tech country to watch for clues on S&P 500 earnings

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S&P 500 earnings are closely correlated with Korean exports thanks to the country’s bellwether status.

About seven years ago, Philip Petursson, chief investment strategist at Manulife Investments, went looking for a reliable predictor for U.S. corporate earnings and found it in an unlikely place, some 7,000 miles away.

“A colleague of mine casually mentioned to ‘pay attention to Korea,’” he said. “That sparked a curiosity to me as to why and what else, if anything, could Korea tell us. It was, to be honest, a fishing expedition,” he said.

What he discovered was that S&P 500 SPX, -0.07% earnings closely track the path of South Korea’s exports, going back as far as two decades.

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