The various components of the U.S. economy have struggled to get in sync in recent years, and the economy was largely propped up by a resilient consumer. But recently, business- and industrial-focused areas have provided momentum to overall growth. Manufacturing activity and corporate profits, both of which came under pressure in 2015 and 2016, have rebounded. Combined with strengthening capital expenditures and retail sales, these conditions point to accelerating growth in the second half. But with valuations stretched in many areas, look for industry leaders with a proven record of generating top-line growth. For example, Microsoft has achieved solid growth from its Azure cloud computing business and Amazon remains a leading provider of cloud services to businesses. Semiconductor-maker Intel is a leader in the design and development of equipment that runs data centers on which cloud computing relies.
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