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Stock Bulls Need Proof They Were Right to Go All In on Recovery

  • S&P 500 Index closed out its best quarter since 1998
  • Profit forecasts for coming quarters are ticking higher
The Charging Bull statue stands near the NYSE.
The Charging Bull statue stands near the NYSE.Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

After the best quarter for U.S. stocks since 1998 ended with equities stuck in a tight trading range, bulls are now pointing at an improving earnings outlook as evidence the next move will be higher.

The S&P 500 rallied 1.5% on Tuesday to end the quarter up 20%. Virtually all of that gain came in April and May, when a flood of stimulus jolted stocks out of their tailspin. Since then, the equity benchmark’s been mired in a 200-point band.