It’s Friday in the Wall Street Daily Nation. If you’re a newbie, that means I’m skipping the long-winded analysis. Instead, I’ll let some carefully selected graphics speak for me.

We’re on the cusp of an earnings onslaught. Peak reporting season hits on April 27, when 72 S&P 500 companies report results. So I figured there’s no better place to focus our attention.

After all, nothing possesses more power to consistently move stock prices dramatically higher (or lower) than an earnings report. We’re going to start with the ugliest, most depressing earnings trend in existence. Yes, it’s a caveat emptor situation. Then it’s time to pivot to an opportunity hiding in a shiny, contrarian wrapper. Let’s get to it.

In Desperate Need of Reinvention

Oh, how far this tech giant has fallen. Founded in 1911, International Business Machines (IBM) has long been synonymous with tech dominance. Nowadays? Not so much. Case in point: The company just posted its 20th consecutive quarter of declining revenue.

That’s no streak to celebrate. And that’s why investors are high-tailing it for the exits. Shares fell 5% in the immediate aftermath of the report.

Until this trend reverses, steer clear. Thankfully, all stocks aren’t as dangerous as IBM this earnings season. Let me explain…

It Pays to Be a Contrarian

In February, I shared three charts to prove once again it pays to be contrarian.

Heading into earnings seasons, I’m convinced that we’re staring at the next situation set to become a case study in gold to prove this axiom.

You see, analysts and institutional investors are universally negative.

As The Wall Street Journal’s Chris Dieterich notes, “Stock market bulls have all but disappeared over the past six weeks as optimism wanes for swift enactment of economy-boosting tax cuts and infrastructure spending.”

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