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Earnings Season Starts as Stock Market Wobbles
09 Apr 2012 EDT - CNBC.com
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Earnings season kicks off with Alcoa’s after-the-bell report Tuesday.

The first quarter reporting period starts against the backdrop of a stock market pull back , which has shaved 3.3 percent off the S&P 500 since April 2. Earnings for the S&P 500 are expected to show the slowest growth in three years, and analysts have wondered if the earnings season would create an excuse for selling.

Thomson Reuters reports first quarter earnings growth is expected to be 3.2 percent, or 1.8 percent, if Apple is excluded. It says profits for industrials, up 10.6 percent, should be the best, followed by consumer discretionary companies, with earnings growth of 6.6 percent.

The worst performers for the quarter are expected to be in the materials sector, with an average earnings decline of 14 percent decline, according to Thomson Reuters. Alcoa , a materials company, is expected to report a loss of four cents per share for the quarter, off from a $0.12 per share profit last year. Selerity analysts, in a report, said the decline in Alcoa profits is due to a drop in aluminum prices and from restructuring charges.

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