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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

In another sign of the coming economic boom, first-quarter corporate earnings are continuing to blast through expectations.

Why it matters: The rising fortunes of big companies are another element — along with trillions in government spending, vaccine-related reopenings and Fed policy — helping create what could be a record year of economic growth in the U.S.

By the numbers: Of the first 260 S&P 500 companies that reported earnings, 220 have beaten expectations, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The expectation-beating companies include some of the world's biggest like:

  • Apple "reported double-digit growth in every single one of its product categories," CNBC summed up.
  • Visa was boosted by growing payment and transaction volume.
  • Alphabet beat expectations on 50% growth in YouTube revenue.
  • JPMorgan benefited as the growing economy reduced bad-loan risk and investment banking fees grew.
  • Procter & Gamble exceeded expectations as people kept buying cleaning products and started buying beauty products again, CNBC reported.
  • Caterpillar beat as sales of construction and mining equipment rose.
  • Intel benefited from increased sales of laptop and desktop computers.
  • Coca-Cola said global demand had reached pre-pandemic levels.

Yes, but: All of these earnings reports are being measured against the first quarter of 2020, just as the shutdowns of the pandemic began to take hold, and these gains are happening during reopenings that are extremely difficult to forecast.

Go deeper: Tech giants show no sign of slowing down

Go deeper

Apr 28, 2021 - Economy & Business

Facebook stock spikes on strong Q1 revenue growth

(Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook's stock was up more than 6% in after-hours trading Wednesday, after it reported strong Q1 revenue results, which it attributed to growth in its advertising business. It also exceeded Wall Street expectations on earnings per share.

Yes, but: The tech giant missed Wall Street expectations slightly on user growth, suggesting its consistent user growth throughout the pandemic has begun to slow slightly.

Apr 29, 2021 - Technology

Twitter stock plunges on user growth miss, low guidance

Photo: Nikolas Kokovlis/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Twitter's stock was down nearly 10% in after-hours trading on Thursday, after the company issued weak second quarter guidance on revenue growth. The tech giant also reported user growth just shy of Wall Street expectations.

Yes, but: Twitter still reported strong ad sales growth, a sign of the resiliency of its core business throughout the pandemic.

Here comes the reopening boom

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Declining COVID cases, rising vaccination rates, trillions of dollars in government spending and an accommodative Federal Reserve are coming together to create a year of U.S. economic growth for the record books.

Why it matters: A sustained, surging economy is the best way to erase the brutal legacy of business losses and unemployment caused by the pandemic.