Dear Valued Visitor,

We have noticed that you are using an ad blocker software.

Although advertisements on the web pages may degrade your experience, our business certainly depends on them and we can only keep providing you high-quality research based articles as long as we can display ads on our pages.

To view this article, you can disable your ad blocker and refresh this page or simply login.

We only allow registered users to use ad blockers. You can sign up for free by clicking here or you can login if you are already a member.

Alcoa Inc (AA), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) – Earnings Season: So Far, So Good

There’s finally something other than the Federal Reserve and “tapering” for traders to obsess over. At the beginning of last week, Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA) unofficially kicked off second-quarter earnings season. If you’re wondering how things are going thus far, here’s a hint: The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) proceeded to finish the week at a new all-time high of 1,680, up by 2.4%.

Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA)

Now, it should be noted that Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA) is no longer the economic bellwether it once was. As The Wall Street Journal pointed out, “It is not only a cliche that Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA) ‘sets the tone’ for earnings season — it is also no longer really true.”

But while it isn’t the bellwether of old, that’s a far cry from saying that its results are irrelevant. It’s for this reason that investors collectively exhaled when the aluminum giant reported better-than-expected earnings per share of $0.07 compared with a consensus estimate of $0.06 per share. On top of this, as my colleague Dan Carroll noted at the time, Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA) still expects global aluminum demand to rise as much as 7% this year.

The best news of the week came on Friday, with the release of earnings from JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) and Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC). Both banks reported stellar quarters. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) earned $1.60 a share, compared with the consensus estimate of $1.45. And Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC)’s earnings per share of $0.98 beat forecasts by $0.05.

Moreover, the icing on the cake was what the respective CEOs had to say about the economy. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM)’s Jamie Dimon noted, “We continue to see broad-based signs that the U.S. economy is improving and we are hopeful that, as jobs are added and confidence builds, the U.S. economy will strengthen over time.” And Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC)’s John Stumpf expressed unqualified optimism about the “improvements we are seeing throughout the economy.”

What does this mean going forward? While this is still too small of a sample size to generalize, it’s impossible to deny that earnings season is off to a good start. Up next week are a multitude of giants, including The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) on Tuesday, Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) and Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) on Wednesday, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) on Thursday, and General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) on Friday. Stay tuned in to to get the latest news on these companies.

The article Earnings Season: So Far, So Good originally appeared on is written by John Maxfield.

John Maxfield owns shares of Bank of America and Intel. The Motley Fool recommends Bank of America, Coca-Cola, Intel, and Wells Fargo and (NYSE:WFC) owns shares of Bank of America, Intel, JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft, and Wells Fargo.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

DOWNLOAD FREE REPORT: Warren Buffett's Best Stock Picks

Let Warren Buffett, George Soros, Steve Cohen, and Daniel Loeb WORK FOR YOU.

If you want to beat the low cost index funds by 19 percentage points per year, look no further than our monthly newsletter.In this free report you can find an in-depth analysis of the performance of Warren Buffett's entire historical stock picks. We uncovered Warren Buffett's Best Stock Picks and a way to for Buffett to improve his returns by more than 4 percentage points per year.

Bonus Biotech Stock Pick: You can also find a detailed bonus biotech stock pick that we expect to return more than 50% within 12 months.
Subscribe me to Insider Monkey's Free Daily Newsletter
This is a FREE report from Insider Monkey. Credit Card is NOT required.