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Corporate Profits

Why U.S. Stocks Will Rise Above Weak Growth in Global Markets

After another lousy week, it's official: Global markets have suffered the worst late-spring setback since 1940 -- a May-June period when the Germans invaded the Netherlands, then marched into Paris, and Italy declared war on France and Great Britain. Just like that, seven decades ago, World War II was on, and markets went into freefall.

If stocks are as good at anticipating global calamity this time as they were in that horrible spring 70 years ago, we may be in for a terrible second half.

It's a bitter irony that so many of those old enmities are flaring up again on the Continent at this critical time. The European Union was created two decades ago at behest of the former Allies to prevent the Continent from sliding into armed conflict again, and the euro currency was later launched to cement the new political relationship.

But many centuries of deep-seated distrust are hard to negate with diplomacy and idealistic optimism, and now we see Europeans back at each others' throats in a flurry of recriminations over who is to blame for outrageous deficits, debts and defaults in the Eurozone -- and more importantly, who should pay for them.

To read about how Europe's turmoil could affect the U.S. economy, click here.

Stubbornly High Unemployment Shows U.S. Economy Still Plagued by "Jobless Recovery"

While a surge in corporate profits reflect an improving economy, several government reports show that the United States continues to be plagued by a lingering "jobless recovery."

Most analysts, including President Barack Obama, are predicting a strong May jobs report due out today (Friday) with more than 500,000 new jobs added to the U.S. economy.

"We expect to see strong jobs growth in Friday's report." Obama predicted in a speech in Pittsburg on Wednesday.

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Question of the Week: Readers Respond to Money Morning's Corporate Profits Query

Corporate profits returned in full in the first quarter of the year, with company after company topping Wall Street estimates.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) raked in $3.33 billion in first-quarter net income. Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) beat analysts' estimates with a $2.1 billion profit. Apple Inc (Nasdaq: AAPL) brought in $3.38 billion.

"There is clear and broad-based improvement in the economic factors in the United States and around the world," said JPMorgan Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon. "It appears to be strengthening, not weakening. It is possible that they will strengthen enough to end up with a strong recovery."

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We Want to Hear From You: Do You Think Booming Corporate Profits Are the Sign of a Strengthening U.S. Economy?

The past few weeks have pulled in one earnings report after another for 2010's first quarter, allowing a better look at the status of corporate profits. Most companies hoped for marked improvements after restructuring and cutting costs in the wake of the financial meltdown that gave balance sheets a beating. And they weren't disappointed: JPMorgan […]

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