Will The Bull Run Again?

The new data are mixed, but the consensus is for stocks to head north

For the past six weeks, there has been mounting excitement on Wall Street that the markets were in store for another sustained rally capable of powering ahead through the end of the year. First, the prospects for second-quarter corporate earnings were starting to look better: consensus forecasts for a 15% uptick were revised to as high as 22%. And as the economy looked to be slowing, fears of further interest-rate hikes had begun to subside. Even dramatically higher oil prices were not yet apparent in inflation statistics.

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