It's that time again, folks -- earnings season. Last week, we saw Dow Jones Industrial Average
And the winners are ...
Lastly, and in keeping with the theme of mature industry leaders, economic bellwether General Electric
Foolish bottom line
As ardent investors for the long term, we Fools have mixed feeling about earnings season. Obviously, we strongly advocate staying informed and up to date about the issues driving your investments forward. But investors need to walk a fine line in dealing with companies and their quarterly performances. All companies, no matter how outstanding, encounter the periodic headwinds. If a company misses its estimates by a penny or two, what does that really mean for its long-term prospects anyway? Not much. So take these figures with a grain of salt, approach this quarterly ritual as a checkup, and leave it at that.
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Andrew Tonner holds no financial position in any of the companies mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft and IBM. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of and creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't 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.