After a rough patch for the markets, there's a reason for optimism ahead. S&P 500 firms are forecast to report profit growth of 17 percent in the first quarter of 2018 from a year earlier, according to reported results and analysts’ forecasts compiled by FactSet.
Those estimates reflect an upward revision of 5.4 percent throughout last quarter. That would be a record move higher, as analysts lifted their earnings targets due partly to the effects of a drop in the corporate tax rate.
Some sectors where share prices have lagged recently are expected to have some of the most robust profit growth. Energy companies are forecast to have 79 percent earnings growth. S&P 500 tech companies are expected to have grown profits by 22 percent, with Facebook, Apple, and Netflix showing an even bigger rise.