Earnings season just got started so we should get a good look at how well or not so well companies are doing with the strain of higher costs in the current economy. The companies that report better-than-expected earnings will be the ones to watch but even more so what their outlook says will shape the market’s direction for the rest of the year.

This week we are just warming up the car and by next week we will be in first gear for earnings. Here are a few notable companies that will be reporting this week. Quotes are from Tuesday’s close.

International Speedway (ISCA, $39.37, up $0.26)
Ruby Tuesday (RT, $5.80, up $0.51)
Shaw Group (SGR, $53.95, down $2.03)

Marriott International (MAR, $26.93, up $1.00)

General Electric (GE, $28.06, up $0.96)

All eyes will be on GE Friday. Remember, last quarter GE missed earnings and issued downside guidance for 2Q. At the time, GE said earnings per share for 2Q would come in around $0.53 to $0.55 versus Wall Street estimates of $0.58. For the year, GE said earnings would be in the range of $2.20 to $2.30 versus estimates of $2.43. If GE misses again, then the stock is in deep trouble.

Rick Rouse