The following video is from today's MarketFoolery podcast, in which host Chris Hill, along with Jeff Fischer and Joe Magyer, discuss the latest business news. Dow dividend giant Alcoa officially kicked off earnings season with a disappointing quarter that sent shares down more than 4%. In this segment, the guys analyze how high fixed costs lead to variable earnings for companies like Alcoa as well as Arcelor Mittal, and the extent to which companies like Caterpillar are bellwethers for what could be a rocky earnings season.

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Chris Hill owns no shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Arcelor Mittal. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of General Motors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.