A Tempered Outlook of Key Earnings Expectations (AA, SNDK, CSCO, AAPL, GE, JPM, BAC, WFC, WMT, LUV, IBM, T, VZ, BAC, MCD, AAPL)

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The first quarter earnings reports will start to dribble out this week and expectations have been tempered in recent trading days ahead of Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) on Tuesday afternoon.  The stock market had an incredible first quarter performance with double-digit gains but there has been some growing caution over real expectations.  24/7 Wall St. has taken a look at internal corporate commentary and external comments which show some continued caution toward the high income growth.  This data features several DJIA components and also other industry leaders to get to the bottom of what to expect this earnings season.

This week’s review focuses on the most fresh data on Alcoa, Inc. (NYSE: AA), SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK) and Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO).  We also have more fresh data on the following: General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE); J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM); Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT); Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV); International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE: IBM); AT&T, Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Communications, Inc. (NYSE: VZ); Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC); and also McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE: MCD).

The trends should not move investors towards a panic button, but there is some growing concern even compared to just three weeks ago.  The news is far from positive and could act as a drag on the expectations that the market will keep rising.

Alcoa, Inc. (NYSE: AA) reports earnings on Tuesday and it is generally the first DJIA component to report earnings each quarter.  Investors always try to use Alcoa as a benchmark for all major economic companies each earnings season.  The issue goes far beyond Alcoa and far beyond just the base economy companies as one last tempering of earnings expectations for the first quarter of 2012.  The company just noted at the end of last week ahead of earnings that it would be dialing down some capacity in the Atlantic region, a move which cannot exactly be interpreted as strengthening demand ahead of earnings.