Earnings boom is expected a year after pandemic-driven skid

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Wall Street is gearing up for a blockbuster earnings season as companies issue their results for the April-June quarter. The heightened expectations reflect companies’ improving fortunes this year versus the second quarter of 2020, when much of the economy ground to a halt under coronavirus restrictions. Earnings at S&P 500 companies are projected to be up 63.6% from a year earlier, according to FactSet. That would be the highest annual growth rate since the fourth quarter of 2009. Analysts are expecting earnings growth to taper off from here amid rising inflation and uncertainty over how long a surge in consumer spending will last.