The quarterly corporate reporting season hits full throttle this week, and it will be the quality of those earnings numbers that could make the next few weeks fairly rocky if investors don’t like what they see in the reports.

Investors will be eyeing the earnings numbers with a heightened sense of suspicion after being so brazenly misled on the true state of some balance sheets by firms like Enron and WorldCom. Some companies have done everything they could to disguise their true earnings over the last few years, and the key factors in the stock market’s recent slide can be directly attributed to these misgivings about the validity of balance sheets and overall corporate honesty.

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