As of Friday, 122 companies in the S&P 500 had made pre-announcements, and the ratio of negative to positive was 6.5-to-one, according to Thomson Reuters. That is the biggest percent of negative readings since 2001. The headline after the close today was "Alcoa Kicks Off Earnings Season With a Beat" "Alcoa, the first out of the gate with second-quarter earnings, delivered a beat on both earnings and revenue. Upon closer look of Alcoa's beat A week ago AA was expected to make over $0.07 (or today's result would have been a miss) A month ago: over $0.10 In January: $0.17 Just over a year ago: $0.30 In January 2011: Q2 2013 EPS was supposed to be almost $0.70 cents So: from January 2011 to today, the company's "consensus" EPS forecast was revised from just under 70 cents to $0.06 cents. But hey: at least it "beat". Is it just me or does every earnings season for like the last few years always end up being a "The bar is just set so low its kind of hard not to beat it!" I dont even think growth matters any more its all about beating the numbers... the joke that is wall street!!! I just took a quick look at ES futures and they are already up 6.5 pts (not surprisingly) on this great start to earnings season, I am guessing the market will be at all time highs by the end of earnings season its not gonna take much to beat these lowered expectations... but we'll see.