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With 496 S&P 500 companies having reported first quarter earnings, more than three quarters (75.6%) beat expectations, with Q1 earnings now expected to increase 1.6%, data from Lipper shows.

What it means: That's a far cry from the first stage of an earnings recession analysts feared early in the year.

But, but, but: Investors are hardly out of the woods, as fears are growing about substantiated damage from the U.S.-China trade war, most recently thanks to a report from semiconductor giant Broadcom.

What to watch: CEO Hock E. Tan warned that the second quarter bump the company had projected is now unlikely.

"As a result [of the trade war], demand volatility has increased and our customers are actively reducing inventory levels to manage risks.
This leads us to believe the second half of 2019 will be more in line with the first half as opposed to the previously expected recovery. We now anticipate fiscal 2019 semiconductor solutions segment revenue of $17.5 billion, which translates into a year-over-year decline in the high single digits."

Go deeper: In April, the U.S. had the most Q1 layoffs since 2009

Go deeper

Matt Gaetz targets CNN in new ad amid sexual misconduct claims

Rep. Matt Gaetz in Doral, Florida, last week. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) announced Wednesday a six-figure ad buy for a spot that takes aim at CNN as part of an offensive to hit back at mounting sexual misconduct allegations, Politico first reported.

Driving the news: Gaetz is under federal investigation following sex trafficking allegations, and the House Ethics Committee has also opened an inquiry. Announcing the 30-second ad, to run in his Florida Panhandle district, Gaetz called on his Twitter followers to "help us fight back!"

Focus group: Red flags for Biden infrastructure plan

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

Some swing voters say President Biden needs to better explain who'll pay for his $2 trillion infrastructure plan — and they'll only back bipartisan legislation that's paid for by corporations, not the middle class.

Why it matters: These takeaways from our latest Engagious/Schlesinger focus groups offer crucial context for an administration basing much of its legislative strategy on polls showing Americans notionally favor spending on roads, bridges, job training and broadband access.