It’s Not Donald Trump That American Corporations Are Excited About

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Corporate America is about to go on a spending spree! They’re so excited about Donald Trump that they can’t hold themselves back!

Except, um, maybe that’s not it after all. The Wall Street Journal reports that the stock market rally of the past month might be due to something more mundane:

The 6.7% rally since then, much of it since Election Day, has largely been attributed to the potential for tax cuts, looser regulation and fiscal spending under the president-elect. But the rise has also coincided with a fundamental improvement: U.S. companies’return to earnings growth.

“It’s earnings growth that drives stocks over the long term,” said Tom Cassidy, chief investment officer at Univest Wealth Management Division…Earnings for companies in the S&P 500 grew 3.1% in the third quarter from a year earlier, according to FactSet, entering positive territory for the first time since the first quarter of 2015, when they grew 0.5%. Analysts polled by FactSet expect the rebound to continue, and are estimating a 3.2% growth rate in the fourth quarter of 2016.

The third quarter, needless to say, was back when everyone was expecting Hillary Clinton to be the next president of the United States. Corporations may indeed be excited by the prospect of lower taxes and the end of pesky regulations, but if you want to know why the stock market is rallying, profitable companies are a more likely explanation than anything Trump is promising.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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