Earnings season is here. If revenues don't grow, look out below


The unofficial start to third-quarter reporting season kicks off when everyone's favorite aluminum giant, Alcoa (AA), releases results after Wednesday's close. And the market just knows it's going to be the best earnings season ever! Witness the nearly 250-point burst in the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) over Monday and Tuesday.

Not to be Captain Bringdown, but in actuality it's going be a lousy earnings season, if you care about a little thing called profit growth. Analysts, on average, expect earnings for the S&P 500 ($INX) to drop 25 percent in the third quarter compared with the same period in 2008, according to Thomson Reuters. Stocks are supposed to represent future earnings (or cash flow or dividends), so where's all this ardor for equities coming from?