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Earnings kick-off: Alcoa and KFC-owner Yum Brands

October 9, 2012: 11:55 AM ET

Tuesday brings the unofficial start to third-quarter earnings season, with aluminum producer Alcoa (AA) and KFC-owner Yum Brands (YUM) reporting after the closing bell.

Alcoa is typically considered the kick-off to earnings since it's the first major Dow (INDU) component to report. It's also considered a bellwether of the economy because of its global reach.

But Yum may actually grab the spotlight because of its large presence in China, where report after report have been showing slowing growth.

StockTwits traders are keeping an eye on both.

AffluenzaVirus: Happy Earnings Season. $AA Starts it off tonight.

douglas_blake: $AA an onside kickoff to earnings season. Great indication of global demand. Bulls/Bears will have good field position. $$

The last few months have been good to Alcoa, whose stock is up just over 9%. Even year-to-date doesn't look too shabby, with the stock up almost 6%.

Still, not everyone is enamored with the aluminum producer's prospects.

ddp2049: $AA i think it going to be a good qtr. we need to listen for the outlook

dschorrnyc: Alcoa would unlock 63% in added value by splitting up, Bloomberg reports $AA

Yum Brands could wind up being the more interesting of the two. China accounts for nearly half of all Yum Brands' sales. And it's why the company's stock has been on a tear.

Shares of Yum have soared nearly 89% over the past three years.

deepfoo: For those myopically focused on $AA earnings. I'd tip $YUM as being far heftier in general importance. Just sayin'

igloo: $YUM I gota say the Cantina Bowl is really tasty
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