The following is an excerpt from Chuck Mikolajczak and Caroline Valetkevitch | April 15, 2012 | Yahoo.com |
NEW YORK (Reuters) – After suffering their worst two weeks of the year, stocks will look to quarterly earnings to determine whether the recent pullback has been exhausted or more losses are justified.
Alcoa Inc (NYS:AA – News) opened the earnings season with a bang, reporting a first-quarter profit on Tuesday instead of the expected loss. That positive surprise foretold a trend. Of the 32 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings so far, Thomson Reuters data showed that 75 percent – or two dozen – have beaten Wall Street’s expectations.
Next week will start one of the two busiest weeks of the quarterly earnings reporting period. About 86 companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 are expected to post results, according to Thomson Reuters Director’s Report.
At Friday’s close, both the Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI) and the S&P 500 (MXP:^GSPC – News) wrapped up their worst two-week percentage drops since late November. The Dow and the S&P each fell 2.7 percent for the two weeks from the close on March 30.
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