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My Earnings Watch List

October 11, 2012, 3:04 pm

Third quarter earnings season is almost upon us. Negative preannouncements and lack-luster economic data have already set the stage for a mild earnings season, and investors are looking to the fourth quarter for signs of growth.

But that doesn’t mean you should be too. Wall Street may be looking forward, but I’ve got my attention locked on what’s happening now. There are a number of companies I’m keeping my eye on this earnings season and I want to make sure you don’t miss them either. They’ll be important to anticipating what’s up ahead as the fourth quarter kicks into high gear and we close out the year.

  • Exxon-Mobil (XOM) has had to contend with global economic concerns and tensions in the Middle East, but if its earnings are steady, energy stocks could get a much needed lift.
  • IBM (IBM) is also an important stock to watch, as its results could indicate whether the run up in the NASDAQ will curb off in the fourth quarter.
  • Alcoa (AA) posted a net loss for the quarter this week, giving us insight into the health of the global economy. I wasn’t surprised, and I’ll be keeping an eye on this one going forward.
  • Darden Restaurants (DRI), which owns popular eateries like Olive Garden and Red Lobster, is a barometer of middle class consumer spending. Its earnings will come just ahead of the holiday shopping season.
  • (AMZN) could outperform box store competitors like Best Buy (BBY) and Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY), underscoring the significance of ecommerce moving forward.

That’s just a quick rundown of the names on my watch list, and now I’d like to hear from you.

Cast Your Vote!

Which company will be the most important economic indicator for the third quarter?

vote YES Exxon Mobil: It’s all about energy, and seeing how the market reacts to its earnings report will help gauge the direction of the price of oil in the next quarter.

vote NO Darden Restaurants: Consumer spending is the focus, and the market wants to see how hard consumers’ wallets have been hit in the economic weakness.

vote UNSURE Box stores might be suffering, but strength in Amazon will make a powerful case for ecommerce as well as spending.

Please click on one of the answers above to share your opinion, then join the conversation in the comments.

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