JPMorgan Chase  (JPM) – Get Report is often considered a best-in-breed bank stock, which is why investors will be looking for the company to be a leader as this earnings season kicks off.

JPMorgan will report earnings on Tuesday before the open along with Citigroup  (C) – Get Report and ahead of others like Bank of America  (BAC) – Get Report, Wells Fargo  (WFC) – Get Report and Goldman Sachs  (GS) – Get Report.

Unlike the S&P 500, which has made new 52-week highs, JPMorgan and the banks continue to struggle.

While off the lows, plenty of technical damage remains. Investors will look to see if management is less cautious than it was in the summer and if the consumer is looking better or worse from three months ago.

If investors like what they hear, it could trigger a nice move higher for JPMorgan and its peers this quarter. If not, it could put bulls in a tough spot as we progress through the fourth quarter.

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