Earnings Season | Contact Energy – Buy Time Global markets were higher on Friday (S&P 500 index +0.8%) as US stocks reached new highs on the back of strong data. Investors shrugged off inflation concerns and focused on the economic recovery although volume on US exchanges hit a new low for the year.   There wasn’t any major news to drive markets on Friday, but sentiment remains broadly upbeat. Interestingly, markets brushed off news that Europe’s drug regulator had opened an investigation into Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, after four serious cases of blood clotting.  Looking ahead, the US corporate earnings season kicks off properly this week with the major US banks reporting quarterly profits. During earnings season the focus of investors usually shifts away from economic issues and back towards company specific numbers.  For the S&P500, the consensus is for earnings growth of 25% in 1st quarter from a year ago given the extraordinary impact of COVID. The Financials sector is expect...