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If you’re wondering why the stock market is doing so well lately, here’s the answer:

Earnings at U.S. companies grew at the fastest pace in nearly six years in the first quarter, the latest boon to a bull market that has stretched into its ninth year.

With nearly all companies in the S&P 500 having reported results, aggregate earnings for the first quarter are on track to grow 13.6% from the year-earlier period….Beyond the jump in growth, many investors have been encouraged by signs that the quality of the results is improving. That contrasts with recent years, when investors worried that corporate share buybacks and ultralow interest rates were juicing stock gains in the absence of business improvement.

It’s not Trumpmania, it’s just old-fashioned earnings growth. More people are buying stuff and companies are making more money. It’s simple.

How long will this last? I don’t know any more than anyone else, but my guess is that the current expansion has another year to go. I’m starting to see signs of an economy that’s getting a little too exuberant, and I suspect that 2018 is going to be a mild recession year. Please note that this prediction is worth every cent you paid for it.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

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This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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