With earnings reports for 20% of the S&P in hand, Bob Doll, Chief Equity Strategist at Black Rock, predicts that  U.S. companies will outperform the consensus expectations by 3-4% this past quarter.  However, some companies have announced big positive surprises and others are doing worse than expected—a more mixed picture than in the previous quarter.

Overall, Doll sees a cyclical recovery on track. U.S. retail sales increased 3% in the first quarter. The news on industrial production, credit for commercial and industrial loans, and unemployment claims has been good.

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