U.S. corporate profits, hit hard last year by the energy downturn and strong dollar, show signs of stabilizing as oil prices dance around $50 a barrel and economic growth appears to be picking up. But American companies still face earnings pressure due to rising wage growth and a still-weak global economic expansion. A key measure of corporate profits—after taxes, without inventory valuation and capital consumption adjustments—rose at a 1.9% pace in the first three months of 2016, the Commerce Department said Friday. That was after dropping at an 8.1% pace in the fourth quarter and a 3.3% decline in the third quarter. “At least it’s not negative,” said Christine Short, senior vice president at analytics firm Estimize, though she added that the profit bounce was “still nothing to write home about.” The broader economy seems on track to rebound after a weak performance over the past few quarters. Gross […]