Want to Get a Jump on This Earnings Season? Watch These 4 Dow Stocks.

Don't let it get away!

Keep track of the stocks that matter to you.

Help yourself with the Fool's FREE and easy new watchlist service today.

'Tis the season to report earnings. This time, investors come into the reporting period with rising spirits.

For evidence, look no further than aluminum producer Alcoa (NYSE: AA  ) . The industrial stalwart tends to report very early in every earnings season, including this one. And speculators are crowding the doors: Alcoa was the biggest winner on the Dow (INDEX: ^DJI  ) in early trade with a 0.7% gain, despite the lack of company-specific news other than Tuesday night's upcoming third-quarter report.

Analysts put Alcoa's bar low this time, expecting last year's $0.15 of earnings per share to fall almost all the way to breakeven. Sales should be down 13% year over year. You'd expect the stock to absolutely tank on an outlook like that, but now the stock sits near breakeven for the day. Investors believe in economic recovery this time.

The story will continue to play out over the next month or so. JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM  ) is the second Dow member to report this week, though we have to wait until Friday for that one. Then we get a reporting avalanche next week, including no fewer than 11 Dow components.

Whether you're looking to confirm or contradict whatever economic outlook Alcoa and JPMorgan give us this week, I'd keep an eye on fellow economic barometers Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) and McDonald's (NYSE: MCD  ) .

Together, these four reports cover the market from its financial base to the consumer-level pinnacle. They will set the tone for the entire season.

Watching the broad market each day may be as exciting as a holiday hayride, but investing doesn't have to be that bumpy. If you're in the mood to pick up some solid buys for the long term, The Motley Fool has created a brand-new free report from our expert analysts called "2 Dirt Cheap Stocks With Huge Dividends." It won't be available forever, so click here -- it's free.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies mentioned. Check out Anders' bio and holdings, or follow him on Twitter and Google+. The Motley Fool owns shares of McDonald's, Bank of America, and JPMorgan Chase. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of McDonald's. The Motley Fool has a strict disclosure policy.

We Fools may not all hold the same opinion, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletters free for 30 days.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2048110, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/28/2016 1:05:02 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,210.80 -17.50 -0.10%
S&P 500 2,157.49 -2.44 -0.11%
NASD 5,297.61 -8.10 -0.15%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/28/2016 12:49 PM
^DJI $18210.80 Down -17.50 -0.10%
AA $9.72 Up +0.07 +0.67%
Alcoa CAPS Rating: ***
BAC $15.21 Down -0.08 -0.52%
Bank of America CAPS Rating: ****
JPM $66.25 Down -0.11 -0.17%
JPMorgan Chase CAPS Rating: ****
MCD $115.11 Down -1.78 -1.52%
McDonald's CAPS Rating: ***