One Fine GPA

Sometimes you just grade 'em like a big class taking their final exam. That's how I felt about Tuesday's parade of earnings. You start off with DuPont (DD), and you have to be encouraged simply that this company performed much better than it did last time. It was like the dog stopped eating CEO Ellen Kullman's homework and she delivered a respectable quarter. There no high-fives during the exam, and you could tell she was still furious at herself from last quarter's miserable effort. Still, when a "D" student gets a "C," it is a big deal in the school of hard earnings. In short, Kullman has moved out of the cellar with that quarter.

Meanwhile, across the hall, Travelers' (TRV) Jay Fishman -- the best insurance executive in the world -- quietly delivers a summa cum laude on the quarter through a combination of higher rates, thoughtful underwriting. He made you feel as if he had predicted Hurricane Sandy (I am not kidding -- go have a listen) and tremendous investing of your premiums. Makes you want to switch away from Geico's talking pig, Progressive's (PGR) woman in white, State Farm's discount Cheesehead check and Allstate's (ALL) President Palmer all in one conference call....456 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

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