Earnings surprises may spark market rebound

Scott Mlyn | CNBC

The unofficial start of the earnings season kicked off Wednesday after the bell, with Alcoa reporting second-quarter results.

As has been the trend this year, analysts once again appear to have set the bar of expectations too low, leaving room for companies to potentially beat estimates and subsequently see their shares rise.

"While consensus expectations point to a dismal earnings season, we believe the underlying growth trend is far healthier," said Jonathan Golub, chief U.S. market strategist at RBC Capital Markets.

S&P 500 companies are projected to show a drop of 3 percent in earnings growth in the second quarter, while revenue is expected to contract by 4 percent, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Analysts predict the brunt of the decline will come from energy stocks, which have struggled to cope with a 50 percent plunge in oil prices in the past year.