The Six Trends to Watch This Earnings Season

October 14th Weekly Market Update

The continued wrangling by lawmakers over the government shutdown and debt ceiling may overshadow earnings reports this week in drama, but not in importance. While Washington drives market volatility, the market trend is determined by earnings growth.

It is hard to draw conclusions from the handful of results in the first week of third quarter earnings reports given very company-specific factors. For example, Alcoa posted solid earnings results and exceeded analyst estimates on productivity gains unlikely to be seen among other metals companies. Yum! Brands Inc. missed estimates due to the impact of the avian flu outbreak on Chinese consumers. And JPMorgan Chase & Co. took a $9.2 billion charge for legal costs.

However, with over 60 companies reporting next week trends will begin to emerge. The six trends we are watching for…

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