So far, the latest earnings season in the US has seen the majority of companies — 82% of the 37% of companies on the Standard & Poor’s 500 index that have reported, according to data provider FactSet — beating analyst estimates, and by a wider-than-average margin. At this pace, earnings decline for 2020 will be only around 12%, far better than the more-than-20% contraction forecast during the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic fears last year. Sectors reporting the most positive surprises include IT, healthcare and financials.

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