Earnings Season

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Earnings season is the period when the majority of publicly listed companies announce their quarterly financial results. Since the majority of companies finish their fiscal quarters at the end of March, June, September, and December, earnings season generally begins one to two weeks after the end of those months. It then lasts for several weeks.

Alcoa's (AA) earnings announcement has long been considered the kick off to earnings season because the company was the first member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average to announce results (it is no longer in the index today) and was historically a bell-weather for the US stock market. Despite investors' reduced focus on the substance of Alcoa's results, its earnings release continues to be an unofficial starting gun for earnings season.

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