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Earnings season: Apple and two other stocks are most important to watch

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Earnings season kicked off Tuesday morning with JPMorgan and Johnson & Johnson among those reporting results.

Katie Stockton, founder of Fairlead Strategies, is looking ahead to the biggest publicly traded companies to determine where markets head next.

"I will be watching the heavyweights in that benchmark and in others. Names like Microsoft, Apple, Amazon — those will really set the tone in my opinion for this earnings season," Stockton said Monday on CNBC's "Trading Nation."

Microsoft, Apple and Amazon have the largest market caps on Wall Street at more than $1 trillion each. The S&P 500, a market cap-weighted index, sees outsize influence from those three stocks' moves.

"I'll be looking at their reaction to earnings, noting that most of these names while they've outperformed year to date, they are near some resistance levels on their charts with the backup that we've already seen," said Stockton.

Microsoft and Amazon are positive for the year, well outperforming the rest of the market. Apple is down 3%, though still far better than the S&P 500's 13% decline.

"For me it's really a top-down oriented market, I look at things from a technical perspective, and indeed the correlations have been very high and I think they'll remain that way, especially as downside volatility picks up again during the next pullback or a so-called retest of support by a lot of these stocks," said Stockton.

Amazon will be the first of the group to perform – its earnings are scheduled for April 23. Microsoft is set for April 29 and Apple for April 30.



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