(Bloomberg) -- To say that hopes are high heading into fourth-quarter earnings season would be an understatement.

The results about to be unleashed on the world are billed as the ones that confirm the end of the U.S. profit recession. This time around analysts have barely bothered with their ritual of cutting estimates in the weeks before companies disclose results. At 11.5, the COBE Volatility Index is at its lowest level for any earnings season since 2007.

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