NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- After a positive Martin Luther King Jr. holiday including an upbeat inauguration for President Obama's second term, the "bull market" appears ready to charge ahead. Earnings season has been mainly upbeat and mostly positive.Two very important companies stepped into the earnings spotlight before the market opened on Tuesday. Neither one sorely disappointed or offered any gloomy guidance going forward. If you've been waiting for a correction to buy, the response so far to Tuesday's earnings parade means you may have to wait longer. E. I. du Pont de Nemours ( DD) is the most important of the two. Few seemed surprised when it reported that weakness in its performance chemicals, electronics and communications businesses, combined with costs related to growth initiatives were blamed for a big drop in fourth-quarter income. I guess the drop wasn't bad enough to spark a selloff? DD reported net income of $111 million, or 12 cents per share, for the last three months of 2012, down 70% from $373 million, or 40 cents per share, for the fourth quarter of 2011. Revenue came in virtually unchanged from the year-ago period at $7.3 billion, with currency issues and other losers being offset by a 3% gain in global sales. Sales in Latin America grew 10%, with an 8% volume gain and a 7% increase in local prices. A 6% increase in volume in the Asia-Pacific region was impacted by negative currency and pricing effects. Amazingly, DuPont was still able to beat the consensus estimate of Wall Street analysts of 7 cents per share and total quarterly revenue of $7.2 billion. DD's fourth-quarter positive outcome was mainly due to its agricultural unit, which saw sales increase 18% to $1.5 billion on 11% higher volumes and 7% higher prices. Full-year sales for the agricultural unit were up 14% to $10.4 billion on 8% higher volume and 6% higher prices. The CEO had upbeat comments and a list of reasons for the lackluster quarter. "DuPont stands stronger today than it did a year ago. Our segments delivered innovation, productivity and integration cost synergies. This, coupled with a record year in new product introductions, has strengthened our market position," said DuPont Chair and CEO Ellen Kullman.
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real money portfolio for his charitable trust- enjoy advance notice of every trade, full access to the portfolio, and deep coverage of the latest economic events and market movements. Based on its forward 1-year projected P/E of around 12, DD looks promising, but based on its price-to-earnings-to-growth (PEG ratio, 5-year expected) of 2.72, DD better have some very positive quarters ahead or shares are more likely to correct than go up further. Yet two hours into Tuesday's session shares moved up another 1%. Market Mavens see DuPont's "cup" as being half full!
Freeport-McMoRanAlso before the opening bell on Tuesday we heard from a company that appears to have shot itself in both feet much to the horrific chagrin of its many shareholders. Freeport-McMoRan Copper& Gold ( FCX) has a whole lot of explaining to do, but the quarterly report caused shares to rally.
FCX's price and trailing-12-month EBITDA look like a poorly made airplane heading for a crash-landing. Maybe all the bad news is baked into this controversial company, and thus today's positive price reaction. Yet with FCX's debt load, its reputation for overpaying for assets it spun off in the past, and the stock's jaded history, it's difficult for me to be optimistic about its immediate future. Tuesday's upbeat market response to DD's and FCX's announcements bodes well for the remainder of January. The tone for the rest of the week is also positive and Tuesday's corporate news is being viewed favorably. My crystal ball is calling for a mostly up week with low volatility. Time will tell. At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned. Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, finds you Stocks Under $10 picks with explosive upside potential. See what he's trading today with a 14-day FREE pass. Follow @m8a2r1 This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.