And…they’re off. Alcoa (NYSE:AA) fired the ceremonial starter’s pistol for a critical earnings season last Monday, and the results were solid. The company forecast 7% growth in aluminum volume, which was an encouraging sign that global economic activity may not be as weak as many had feared.
Still, while I do expect a generally positive earnings season, we’re absolutely in for some surprises along the way. JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) and Citigroup (NYSE:C) have already provided a couple. Here are seven companies reporting in the coming days I recommend you keep a close eye on, because they’re good barometers for where this season is going — along with my expectations for each.