File - The S&P rose 2.7 percent, recapturing nearly all the declines suffered in previous weeks.
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Earnings season shifts into high gear next week, and with nearly one-third of S&P 500 names set to post results, investors hope the news provides a catalyst to buy stocks and leave the market's recent weakness in the dust.Several behemoths, including Apple, the largest U.S. company by market value, as well as Microsoft, McDonald's are due to report earnings. S&P 500 companies' first-quarter earnings are projected to have increased 1.7 percent from a year ago, Thomson Reuters data showed.The company was once a favorite among momentum investors looking to capitalize on swift price gains, but the stock dropped sharply from all-time highs reached in late 2012 .StarMine expects Apple to exceed earnings estimates by 1 percent. Investors are gearing up for wild swings in those names next week. Trading in Facebook options expiring next Friday suggest investors expect about a 12 percent move in the stock's price by the end of next week. Weekly options are often used in advance of a major event like earnings. Microsoft, for example, is the third-best performer in the Dow this year, having gained 7 percent for the year.
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