The preannouncement season. Every quarterly earnings period has one, as companies warn Wall Street of impending shortfalls (or, much more rarely, trumpet upside surprises), and it always brings wreck and woe to many a boardroom, assembly line and portfolio.

The experts at

I/B/E/S

say the preannouncement season for the second quarter has been unusually benign, with only 66% of preannouncements negative as of June 30, compared with the usual 80%. But that doesn't make execs and shareholders of the companies below feel any better.