We are smack in the middle of corporate earnings season for the 4th quarter of 2009. Two groups might be a bit surprised by the numbers that have been coming out: sideline observers who have been watching the US stock market nervously, wondering why it has been going nearly straight up for the last 10 months, and people who spend all their time looking at the economy in the rearview mirror.

This week we have seen reports of better-than-expected earnings from Exxon Mobil, Hershey, ITT, and Procter & Gamble among others. Most are also projecting better sales and earnings for the remainder of 2010. The US economy is on its way back from the Great Recession and unemployment should begin to fall. Mortgage and commercial loan delinquencies remain high but are expected to come down inverse to unemployment. The dollar is strengthening against the Euro. It's a little early to start singing "Happy Days are Here Again" (unless you're an investment banker), but we're going in the right direction.

Tomorrow I'll get back to my Ten Ground Rules with Rule #2: Percents, Not Dollars!


(This article contains the current opinions of the author but not necessarily those of Brighton Securities Corp. The author's opinions are subject to change without notice. This blog post is for informational purposes only. Forecasts, estimates, and certain information contained herein should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. References to specific securities and their issuers are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended and should not be interpreted as recommendations to purchase or sell such securities).