Fund managers in the U.S., Europe and Asia are forecasting stronger economies and rising profits, according to a Merrill Lynch survey of 293 fund management firms in early April. U.S. fund managers said they expect corporate profits to grow an average of 5.6 percent in 1999.

"What a difference six months can make; 1999 may turn out to be a surprisingly strong year," said Trevor Greetham, global strategist at Merrill Lynch.

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