Don't let the market's slow start today fool you, as the next few days could be some of the busiest of the year for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI).

Alcoa (NYSE:AA) and JPMorgan Chase kicked off earnings season last week with mixed results -- Alcoa beat only after the exclusion of one-time expenses, while JPMorgan dominated bottom-line estimates. This week, more than a third of the index's components will follow their lead.

Company

Day Reporting

EPS Estimate

Coca-Cola

Tuesday

$0.51

IBM

Tuesday

$3.61

Intel

Tuesday

$0.50

Johnson & Johnson

Tuesday

$1.21

UnitedHealth

Tuesday

$1.34

American Express

Wednesday

$1.09

Bank of America

Wednesday

($0.07)

Microsoft

Thursday

$0.60

Travelers 

Thursday

$1.55

Verizon

Thursday

$0.65

General Electric

Friday

$0.36

McDonald's

Friday

$1.48

Source: The Wall Street Journal's Market Data Center.

Of the 12 components to report over the next five days, traders will be watching the results from Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) particularly closely. Intel warned analysts earlier in the quarter that its revenue would be lower than originally forecasted due to "weaker than expected demand in the challenging macroeconomic environment." Meanwhile, Microsoft took a hit last month after reports surfaced that Windows 8 isn't ready for release slated for the end of October. Finally, Bank of America rounds out the four too-big-to-fail banks by reporting on Wednesday.

Foolish bottom line
The Dow contains some of the most important stocks in the world. But given the deluge of information available on the Internet about these companies, it's often difficult to discern between what matters and what doesn't. If you feel this way and would like an easy method of cutting through all the noise, check out our in-depth report on Intel, which runs through all of the key topics investors should understand about the chip giant. Better yet, you'll continue to receive updates as news develops for an entire year. Click here now to learn more.

John Maxfield owns shares of Bank of America. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America, Intel, and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Intel. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.