MINNEAPOLIS ( Stockpickr) -- Alcoa ( AA) officially kicked off earnings season with its report after the close on Monday. The Dow component reported a profit of $258 million or $.24 cents per share easily besting the average Wall Street estimate of $.19.In addition to the positive earnings momentum, the company expects global demand for aluminum to increase by 12% in the coming year. That growth will come from a stronger auto sector and improving global economy. Investors are not buying the news. The earnings beat was not enough to impress traders, who pushed Alcoa's share price lower by more than 1% on Tuesday. The big concern appears to be related to China and the possibility of slower growth there. I would view the trading to be a buy-the-rumor, sell-the-event moment. Investors anticipating strong results had already pushed shares higher. A big beat followed by some small profit-taking is not out of the ordinary. The move marks a transition to prove-it-to-me mode, with investors likely to be cautious until the company can show that earnings momentum will continue. Related: Stocks for the Buy-and-Hold Investor In the housing market, Lennar ( LEN) followed KB Home's ( KBH) positive earnings report with its own earnings beat. The company reported that it earned 17 cents per share, beating Wall Street estimates of 2 cents per share but below the 19 cents per share earned in the year prior. No correction in share price here. Lennar was up more than 8% on the news, pushing the entire homebuilder segment higher. Let's take a look at a few names yet to report this week. Commerce Bancshares ( CBSH) We'll get an early read on the health of mid-tier banks with the earnings report of Commerce Bancshares on Thursday. I've theorized that larger banks would be active in buying smaller names in 2011. Those deals depend on continued balance sheet improvement and valuation. On valuation, the banks have rallied significantly, making deals a bit pricier. Commerce shares are up more than 10% since November. Analysts expect the company to make 66 cents a share in the quarter ending in December. A big number is needed to keep the needle moving. My guess is that Wall Street wants to push shares lower in hopes that a larger bank can acquire at a cheaper price. Only a strong beat prevents that outcome from happening.
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