Be wary of upbeat stock forecasts

Investors have been flummoxed by the unusual array of circumstances weighing down the economy. PHOTO: AFP
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NYTIMES - Streams of freshly minted quarterly earnings reports are beginning to arrive from listed companies, promising a fuller picture of how important segments of the economy fared as the stock market fell in the spring and early summer.

More important, executives are giving "guidance" to analysts on how their companies are likely to perform in the months ahead. This exercise in compulsory financial disclosure always commands attention on Wall Street.

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