U.S. companies are reporting mostly upbeat news this earnings season, surprising investors who had been bracing for a gloomier outlook on both businesses and the economy. More than halfway into the second-quarter reporting period, S&P 500 company earnings are estimated to have increased 8.1% over the year-ago quarter, compared with a 5.6% estimate at the start of July, according to IBES data from Refinitiv as of Tuesday. Some 78% of earnings reports are beating Wall Street expectations, above the long-term average. Profit growth estimates for the third and fourth quarters have come down, but remain sharply positive. S&P 500 earnings for all of 2022 are now forecast to grow 8.1% versus a 9.5% estimated in July, based on Refinitiv data. […]