Can we push all the political “noise” aside and finally talk about earnings? It’s that time again when the stock market will focus on corporations reporting their sales and profits – called “earnings season,” one of the underpinnings of stock market values and the entire economic picture. Hence, it’s the reason why Business Profitability is one of the elements of the Heat Map (below).
According to a highly respected earnings forecaster, FactSet, earnings for the S&P 500 companies are expected to grow 9.1% for the period ending March 31 compared to one year earlier. If true, this would mark the highest growth quarter since Q4 of 2011. A strong showing like this may offset some or all of the negative effect of no progress in Washington DC on fiscal policy changes (see Update-Washington for additional information).