9:00am (EST) Third-quarter earnings season “officially” kicks off when Alcoa (AA, $13.89) reports after the bell today as it is the first Dow stock to announce.  We have some other notable names reporting earnings as well but their fiscal year is just ending and they are reporting 4Q earnings. For instance we have a number of 4Q earnings that were released before the bell today. Costco (COST, $57.93) reported earnings that topped Wall Street’s estimates.  The company earned $374 million, or $0.85 a share, versus $398 million, or $0.90 a share, a year earlier.  Wall Street was expecting $0.77 a share. Family Dollar (FDO, $28.48) said it earned $60.1 million, or $0.43 a share, compared with $53.2 million, or $0.38 a share, in the year-ago period.  Wall Street was expecting a profit of $0.41 a share. Monsanto (MON, $75.63) reported a higher 4Q loss but estimates still top the Street’s. Futures are up slightly as we head towards the bell.  Dow futures are up 8 points, Nasdaq 100 futures are higher by 2 while the S&P 500 futures are flat. Subscribers, check the Members Area for the current trade updates.]]>