Earnings season is in full swing, with some 20 percent of the S&P 500 reporting results so far. Investors love to focus on the earnings scorecard—what percentage of companies have missed, beaten or reported in line with analyst estimates. But beyond the numbers, market watchers say it's equally important to pay attention to what CEOs and company executives are saying. Think of it as the earnings version of reading tea leaves.
CNBC decided to do an informal survey, perusing dozens of transcripts from earnings conference calls to see what some of the hottest buzzwords are being used by top executives. A couple of themes we have observed so far:
"DISAPPOINTMENT": The word was especially prevalent in retail earnings. From Coach to Best Buy to Five Below, retailers were generally "disappointed" in earnings and store traffic. Investors showed their disdain for the word "disappointment" loud and clear. Following earnings, Best Buy fell nearly 11 percent and Coach shares took a 6 percent hit.