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Earnings_Release-300x204Even in this uncertain market, investors can look for a safe harbor in the trading of stocks releasing earnings reports. For a brief moment in time, fundamentals take a front seat as macro worries are set aside. Whatever the actual news, stocks in this category can swing wildly in a short period of time.

With the end of the year in sight, the market appears poised to finish with a whimper. The S&P 500, slightly lower for the year, will have to muster two weeks of higher gains in order to finish the year in positive territory.

Such an outcome is not out of the question. Economic data has been positive of late and corporate earnings are still strong. To the extent investors are swayed that all is well buying will be in favor.

The wild card is Europe. There are plenty of skeptics that continue to worry about the risk of collapse there. That may or may not happen, but each time there is a whisper of worry, stocks head straight south.

Shell-shocked investors, managers

There is clearly much uncertainty, but then again when is that not the case. Shell-shocked investors are having a hard time navigating this market. They are not alone as institutional managers are in the same boat.

But earnings reports set up for a perfect trading opportunity. Case in point was Best Buy (BBY) last week. News there was not altogether positive and shares tumbled more than 8% in the trading day after earnings were released.

Anticipate what is about to transpire in advance and one can capture big gains. Each week I offer tidbits of information that can help you do just that.

Here are five companies reporting results this week:

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