A total of 430 US companies and 156 S&P 500 names have reported their quarterly numbers since earnings season began with Alcoa's report on April 7th. We're always monitoring how companies are reporting versus expectations, and below we highlight the percentage of companies beating and missing estimates as earnings season has progressed. At the start of earnings season, more companies were missing estimates than beating, however, this trend has changed significantly as the bulk of reports have come in this week. At the end of last week, 50% of US companies had beaten estimates, and this number has increased every day this week to its current level of 57%. Last quarter only 55% of companies beat estimates, so if we begin to see the "beat rate" increase quarter over quarter instead of decrease, it will be a positive sign for the market.
And stocks within the S&P 500 are reporting even better numbers. Again, after a slow start, the current "beat rate" for the 156 S&P 500 companies stands at 67%. Earnings season still has a long way to go, but the current trend has investors optimistic.
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