Markets

Business leaders strike cautious earnings note even as S&P 500 hits record levels

Chief executives up and down corporate America are fighting to ensure they keep expectations in check even as rising quarterly profit reports help drive the S&P 500 higher

Corporate America are fighting to ensure they keep expectations in check even as rising quarterly profit reports help drive the S&P 500 higher. Picture: Tim Boyle/Bloomberg

The S&P 500 may have hit record levels last week but business leaders sounded a more optimistic tone in their view of the coming months as earning outlooks undershot analysts’ expectations.

An analysis by Bank of America found that just four in ten firms on the index to have issued earnings guidance offered outlooks that exceeded analysts’ expectations.

If that continues, it would represent the smallest share of firms meeting expectations since early 2020, when ...