Celina Jade
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Celina Jade in Markets at a glance,

Stock rally is occurring against a backdrop of falling profit forecasts

The second-quarter earnings season has been hailed by Wall Street’s equity bulls, who point to the better-than-expected results as proof that the stock market’s lofty levels were justified by the rise of activity in U.S. corporations.

S&P earnings grew 11% in the second quarter, the second straight quarter of double-digit growth, according to data from Goldman Sachs, the fastest two quarters of growth since 2011. More than half of S&P companies topped forecasts, the highest percentage since the second quarter of 2010, although the average upside surprise was 4%, slightly below the long-term average of 5%.

Despite the strength in the quarter, results in the first half of the year “have not been strong enough to warrant positive S&P 500 [earnings per share] revisions,” Goldman Sachs wrote in a note to clients. Of the S&P 500’s 11 primary sectors, it noted, forecasts for 2018’s profits have come down for six of them.