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In this file photo, traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
In this file photo, traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
(Richard Drew/AP)

Earnings expectations are low, but are they low enough?

The first quarter earnings season boils down to these two questions: Will investors feel overjoyed at companies beating earnings expectations, or will they instead focus on lacklustre growth?

It is certainly likely that both questions will arise soon after Alcoa Inc. kicks things off on Tuesday evening. That’s because companies and analysts have been slashing estimates for quarterly earnings, lowering the bar for companies to then clear. Beating estimates is often a trigger for stock rallies.