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Article updated: 1/21/2013 8:41 AM

What to watch for as earnings news rolls in

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Associated Press Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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With fourth-quarter earnings seasons hitting its stride, investors are returning to the familiar comfort of cold, hard numbers -- the press releases, conference calls and spreadsheets that provide a real view of corporate America's performance. Trading has been dominated for months by speculation about news events: Washington's perpetual state of gridlock, the impact of Superstorm Sandy, the international economic slowdown.
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