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(Smart Money) — Stocks in Asia closed higher today, European shares are mostly up, and U.S. futures are pointing to a lower open.Second-quarter earnings season kicks off Monday when aluminum giant Alcoa (AA: 10.72, +0.17, +1.61%) is scheduled to report its results. By next week’s end, investors should have a feel for where some of the larger sectors like tech and banking stand after Intel (INTC: 20.10, -0.04, -0.19%) and Bank of America (BAC: 14.86, +0.15, +1.01%) release their reports. The season should also add some clarity as to whether the stock market declines of the last quarter depict the economic situation accurately.

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