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One of the Most Important Charts to Watch This Earnings Season:

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Alcoa (AA - Get Report) reported earnings on Tuesday, and in many respects that marks the unofficial start of earnings season. So far, 2014 has been somewhat of a disappointing year for stocks. The S&P 500 (^GSPC) is up roughly half a percent. Compare that to 2013, when the S&P 500 was up 31%, and some are asking whether or not the market is exhausted.

The excellent market strategist, Ryan Detrick, recently shared a chart that shows the S&P 500 vs. its quarterly earnings since 1995. The chart is embedded below and there are many conclusions that one can draw from it. But it seems that one simple fact remains true: the current quarterly earnings trend still looks incredibly strong. And that's even despite the S&P 500's flat performance this year. If this trend continues to rise throughout the upcoming earnings season, then the S&P 500 could be expected to follow. What do you think?:

One of my fav charts. $SPX performance with quarterly earnings. Not a lot wrong here. $SPY

? Ryan Detrick (@RyanDetrick) Apr. 8 at 09:28 PM

This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.

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