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Positive Start to the Q2 Earnings Season

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The Q2 earnings season really gets going with results from the big banks at the end of next week, but the reporting season has actually gotten underway already with results from 23 S&P 500 members already out. All of these initial earnings reports are from companies with fiscal quarters ending in May, but they get counted as part of the Q2 tally.

The results thus far are actually fairly positive, with the magnitude of earnings and revenue growth rates and the proportion of positive surprises tracking above other recent periods. That said, it is probably appropriate not to extrapolate these initial results to the rest of this earnings season.

Total earnings for the quarter are expected to be up +5.9% from the same period last year on +4.6% higher revenues. This would follow +13.3% earnings growth on +7% higher revenues in Q1.

Estimates for the quarter came down as the period progressed, with the current +5.9% growth down from +7.9% at the start of the period. This is lower negative revisions than we have been seeing in other recent periods.

Earnings growth is expected to be positive for 10 of the 16 Zacks sectors in Q2, with growth for the Energy, Technology, Aerospace, Construction, and Industrial Products sectors in double digits. The Energy sector has the strongest growth this quarter, primarily reflecting easier comparisons. Excluding the Energy sector, total Q2 earnings growth would drop to +3.3% from +5.9%. 

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