It could be "by the look(s) of things" and "by the look of it" as well.
It means, roughly, judging by the information we have now.
A: Should I bring my umbrella? B: (noticing the clear sunny skies...) No, by/from the look of things, it is not going to rain anytime soon
A: Who won the tennis match? B: I don't know, I had to leave before it was over, but by/from the looks of things, probably Federer since he was up two sets and playing so well.
A: Wow! That building is going up fast! When do you think they will finish it's? B: Hmmm... By the look of things, probably within two weeks.
I hope that this helps you. J.