Half the companies in the S&P 500 have reported earnings, and consumer companies selling products like clothes and movies are expanding the bottom line 12 percent from last year (more than double the average for the S&P 500).
"What about banks' 35 percent earnings growth" you ask? Their gains are coming from lower loan loss provisions and higher trading activity. Record low default rates mean the accretion of lower loss reserves is running out. So we look to cash earnings due to higher sales, and the consumer discretionary sector is selling plenty to willing buyers. U.S. personal consumption is near an all-time high $11.39 trillion on an annualized basis.