As the earnings season gets underway, a group of stocks could be poised to move higher, if history is any guide.
Wall Street once again appears to have set the bar too low, setting up many opportunities for traders to benefit from a post-earnings surge.
At present, analysts predict fourth-quarter earnings to drop 4.2 percent on a year-over-year basis, while revenue figures are expected to fall 3.2 percent, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
"Four of the 10 sectors in the index expect to see an improvement in earnings relative to Q4 2014," earnings analyst Greg Harrison wrote in a note to clients. Those four groups are telecom, financials, consumer discretionary and health care.
Conversely, earnings growth expectations this quarter point to energy and materials as getting hit the hardest due to weak economic growth and a collapse in commodity prices.
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While betting on stocks ahead of earnings is often a difficult trade, investors tend to look at historical data to make assessments about the future.