What to expect from Apple’s earnings

Apple reports earnings after the close of markets at 4PM EDT today. This will be a closely watched report. Here are some things to look for.

Whisper number: The Business Insider does a good job of capturing the game that analysts play. And Apple is great at dealing with this. Many companies set earnings guidance for the coming quarter which sets the bar for Wall Street analysts. After a while, the analysts usually set a bar for earnings expectations that they believe the company will be able to match or beat based on this guidance, changing it as new information comes to light over the quarter. By that, I mean these numbers are an easy hurdle and most people have a higher stretch hurdle in mind, the whisper number. Business Insider says that Apple's release guidance is always "...

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