Any Clues from AA and YUM Earnings? By Russell Rhoads, CFA

Earnings from Alcoa (AA) have always gotten the attention of the popular press as their numbers open up earnings season. Yum! Brands (YUM) has started to join Alcoa as one of the first reporters. AA and YUM report their earnings today after the market closes. Since they go first, market prognosticators believe an idea of how earnings season is going to fare may be gained from the early reporters. AA makes aluminum which goes into a wide variety of products and YUM serves up food which goes into a wide variety of people. So being the number geek that I am I decided to do a little digging and guess what I found out? AA and YUM earnings do not tell us too much about the equity market and how earnings season will influence stock prices. I looked at the price reactions from both AA and YUM to their last ten quarterly earnings reports and then took a look at where the stock market was five and ten days down the line. Basically the stock price reaction from both stocks predicted the market direction over the next five or ten days 50% of earnings seasons. So what do AA and YUM earnings tells us? Not much more than how business is going for those two individual companies.