A measure released by the Commerce Department showed that after-tax corporate profits grew over 22% in the fourth quarter versus the same quarter in 2015. The jump in profits was the single largest increase in nearly five years, deemed optimistic by economists and analysts.
As the broader economy grew at an increased pace in the fourth quarter of 2016, various sectors and industries may see either a continuance or slowdown depending on any regulatory and economic shifts.
Overall, U.S. companies have plentiful cash, better credit, and lower expenses than they traditionally have had. In addition to existing financial conditions, companies are now operating under the expectation of lower corporate taxes and less regulations as proposed by President Trump.
Sources: U.S. Department of Commerce